Review: Wonder

Jacob Tremblay in Wonder

We live in a time when our whole country is traumatized by hate and bullies. Wonder is a heartwarming reminder that for every bully, there are many others around who are kind and loving. I personally want to thank Wonder for the reminder.

It’s a simple movie with few surprises, just a lot of love and a few tears. Eleven year old Auggie (Jacob Tremblay) has facial deformities. He’s been homeschooled by his mom (Julia Roberts) all his life. Now that he’s going into 5th grade and middle school, it’s time to send him to a public school.

Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Izabela Vidovic, and Jacob Tremblay in Wonder
The whole family sees Auggie off on his first day of public school, including the dog.

Auggie doesn’t want to go. He knows he’ll be stared at, called names, and bullied. The whole family, including dad (Owen Wilson) and big sister Via (Izabela Vidovic) support him. They let him wear his space helmet until the last second.

Finally, he has to walk among the other kids, unprotected by any mask, and start school. It’s a rocky beginning. There are bullies, but there are also great kids. The principal (Mandy Patinkin) is supportive. Auggie is befriended by Jack (Noah Jupe) and then Summer (Millie Davis). His two favorite teachers (Daveed Diggs and Ali Liebert) are very cool.

While Auggie’s trials and problems go forward, we get a subplot with sister Via and her first boyfriend (Nadji Jeter) as well as her strangely distant best friend Miranda (Danielle Rose Russell). My favorite part of the Via subplot was the few moments she recalled as a flashback with her grandmother (Sônia Braga). Via’s story was one of being forgotten in the family because her brother was so needy, but her grandmother showered her with love.

I also had a good laugh when Isabel, Auggie’s mom, used her new free time to finish the dissertation for her Master’s degree. Her only problem was getting the files off a floppy disc. Lots of fun around the dinner table trying to explain what a floppy disc is, even though the family still used landlines at home.

The film has an outstanding cast. It’s rewarding when top tier actors choose to do a heartwarming story that can be watched and understood by all ages.

I watched Wonder on Hulu, but it’s available from several other streaming services as well.

Have you seen Wonder? What did you think of it?

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