Based on the New York Times bestseller, WONDER tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.
Based on the New York Times bestseller, WONDER tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman. Born with facial differences that, up until now, have prevented him from going to a mainstream school, Auggie becomes the most unlikely of heroes when he enters the local fifth grade. As his family, his new classmates, and the larger community all struggle to discover their compassion and acceptance, Auggie's extraordinary journey will unite them all and prove you can't blend in when you were born to stand out. Written by
Izabela Vidovic (Via) and Emma Tremblay (Michelle) both are also in the third season of Supergirl (2015) Izabela Vidovic as the young Kara Danvers from the episode Midvale (2017), Emma Tremblay as Ruby, Reigns daughter. See more »
In scenes that take place in the month of February, there are green leaves on the trees. The film takes place in New York. See more »
You feel like you're all alone here, but you're not!
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Cute, but weirdly contrived and confused with its messages
Here's the thing - the film is asking you to see the real person inside, to offer kindness because 'everyone's fighting a battle'.
Yet, as soon as Auggie is introduced to fellow classmates, his overly-cutesy narration goes "you can tell a lot about people by their shoes". Camera pans down. "The trust fund kid. The hand-me- down kid. The crazy one" (cut to clip of the girl being attention seeking, as if to reinforce Auggie's assumptions). The audience is supposed to lol along.
How is this fair? Immediately Auggie is stereotyping kids before they've even spoken, something he himself is plagued by.
Similarly, it then introduces one bully after another, always 'curing' the first bully (with a message of "hey - with a bit of kindness, even bullies turn happy and become your best friend!") before moving onto the next. Of course, despite all this "see the real person inside" malarky, the film can't help but introduce some 'super-bullies' (older 7th graders!) who the kids delight in beating up as they 'bond' as new found friends.
Then, Auggie receives a recognition prize despite all the other kids being the ones who help him - often having to fight against his negative expectations and assumptions of their agenda.
Its very confused and jarring in its messages. Wonder is absolutely your 'safe' family film where everyone bumbles along to happy- plinky-plonky piano music, and any problems are soon solved with a hug. It takes place in an ideal world where anxieties, insecurities, bullies, and all complex human issues are solved via simplistic and contrived 'fixes' (normally involving hugs).
I would like to say this doesn't matter because kids and families just want light entertainment - but I think it really does matter. Films have so much more power to inspire and share human truths and complexities, there's no real point in just passing the time with something so shallow.
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