By Rayiah Ross
Based on the book of the same name by R.J. Palacio, Wonder tells the story of Auggie Pullman, a 10-year-old born with severe facial deformities from having 27 surgeries on his face, as he makes the dreaded move from homeschool to public school at the start of fifth grade. Auggie, who has for years worn an astronaut helmet in public, hiding himself in play, really doesn’t want to deal with the other kids’ disdain. After being faced with a constant onslaught of teasing and disgust by his classmates though, Auggie’s own bravery and strength soon begins to have ripple effects on those around him. With a narrative approach that switches perspectives, this film starts as a story about a troubled child and expands to one about a community.
Featuring a stunning cast including: Jay Tremblay, Julia Roberts, Izabela Vidovic, and Owen Wilson, Wonder becomes a film much wiser than the one displayed on the trailer. If the premise isn’t enough to inspire you to see the movie, know that the narrations itself create a message just as heavy handed. Palacio told Chicago Now, that she decided to make Auggie a fifth grader because her son had just finished fifth grade, and it had been a hard year. She said, “Fifth through seventh grade is the first time kids are asked to make choices for themselves. They have to decide who they want to be.” Palacio calls her book a “meditation on kindness,” saying that she wanted to impress upon her readers the power of words. She said, “You all have the power to change lives. Remember the power of words, and think about how you want to be remembered.”
Miami Times describes the film by saying, “So maybe this little movie about a kid with a facial disorder isn’t really about a kid with a facial disorder at all, but about whatever you and I choose to see in it. And if that’s not art, I don’t know what is.” With the perspectives changing between multiple characters, we see an in-depth view of each child’s life, giving us more of a reason to love them–even the cruel characters. By doing this, the director, Stephen Chbosky, puts a twist on the cliché of it all.
Wonder with a whopping 84% on Rotten Tomatoes, is a heartfelt movie that delivers a beautiful message. With relatable characters, stunning acting, and and beautiful narrative, Wonder was able to capture the heart of audience all over the world. And remember the words of Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, “If you have a choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.