“Wonder” is the perfect family movie. The kind of movie that will help anyone having to deal with bullies. Director Stephen Chbosky takes the movie about a boy by the name of Auggie, born with facial deformities and turned it into a case study of bullying. Jacob Tremblay plays Auggie and he’s been home-schooled by his mother Isabel played by Julia Roberts, who decides to let Auggie experience his 5th Grade school year in a regular school outside of home-schooling. She is aware of the risks of him being bullied. Auggie has been wearing a NASA space helmet for sometime and now he must remove it and face his school mates. Owen Wilson plays Auggie’s dad, Nate, and Izabela Vidovic, plays Auggie’s older sister Via.
There are conflicts to be resolved in “Wonder.” Auggie must adjust to his new world. Via must find a way to connect with her parents especially her mom, who is consumed by the care Auggie needs. The chemistry between Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson in parenting role works beautifully and it is easy to identify with their parenting styles. Julia Roberts looks far different from the “Pretty Woman” charm as her choice of dress seems old and more of a librarian feel. Owen Wilson is funny and is the perfect dad.
“Wonder” takes the time to give us adequate background into the main characters. We get to hear Auggie’s story, and then Via’s story. We get to hear the inside story of class friends and foe. We get to see that even those with good intentions, may appear bad.
“Wonder” is not a tear-jerker, and Via had to remind Auggie that everything is not about him. Auggie may have a deformity in the face, but he is very intelligent and imaginative. He is more than equipped to handle bullying. However, he proves that he too can laugh at others and even do unethical things like allowing a classmate to look at his answers for a quiz.
“Wonder” is a movie about friendship, and we see how those relationships develop, and how they stall, and how they are repaired. We see the ugly side of bullying as adults influence their kids behavior, and see their actions as nothing more than preparing everyone for the harsh realities of the real world. We can remove the facial deformities, and add Race, or Sexual orientation, and we will get the same effect of people being mean to things they don’t understand.
I enjoyed “Wonder,” but I found it predictable. I didn’t cry and I didn’t fall asleep. “Wonder” is a movie about Via as much as it is about Auggie. “Wonder,” is definitely worth the time spent. I give it 4 1/2 Stars out of 5 only because it didn’t make me cry.