Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
Jacob Tremblay – Auggie Pullman
Julia Roberts – Isabel Pullman
Owen Wilson – Nate Pullman
Izabela Vidovic – Olivia Pullman
Noah Jupe – Jack
Kyle Harrison Breitkopf – Miles
Wonder pulls out all the stops to provide a feel-good family movie.
Firstly, story: it takes a sad story and plays it out using some highly engaging actors who are simply faultless in their performances. Tremblay, Roberts and Owen each bring something different whilst keeping the happy-sad balance at an even level (it’s not all cry-y heartbreaking woe, thank god). The story is also simple and touches on age-old issues such as bullying, family strife, insecurity and friendship. It all makes a very watchable film which runs smoothly as a book itself, acted nicely from beginning – through turbulent middle – to happy end. No twists, no turns, it just happens. Nice one.
Tremblay maintains a strong performance throughout; the kid really can bring it and at one point had even me reeling with emotion. A scene between Auggie and Isabel is very powerful, Roberts engulfing the screen in motherly love as Tremblay pushes back with his display of upset. I could feel the corners of my mouth drooping as I watched him crying and stuttering whilst trying to speak through the tears. This pulled at me, I felt a bit emotional. So a word of warning: if you cry easily (I do not) have a tissue at hand. It’s a heartwrenching scene acted beautifully, top marks here.
The portrayal of isolation is very effective. Little August (Auggie) sat on the opposite side of the classroom to his bullies for example; director Stephen Chbosky wastes no opportunity to capture true emotion throughout this movie, and it works splendidly.
Wonder runs a bit too slow in parts, ultimately turning into a bit of a ‘day-in-the-life-of’ type affair. The tension dries up and the movie becomes almost a mundane portrayal of suburban family life in America. I didn’t like this. It was boring, and much better when little Tremblay was on screen delivering the more captivating moments.
Fan of the book? Love a good tearjerker? Then I think you’ll enjoy this movie.
None of the above? Avoid.