November 17, 2017

R: November 17th, 2017 | R: 113 minutes | R: PG

Oh we go
If you see this movie bring tissues or stock up on napkins at the concessions counter

Wonder is a movie about a boy, Auggie (August) played by Jacob Tremblay who has Treacher Collins syndrome, which after several plastic surgeries, leaves Auggie with facial deformities. He is 12 and is going to school for the first time. He's starting middle school and has to make friends and overcome bullies, which i mean - we've all been to middle school and know that is not a fun experience.

Owen Wilson was hilarious as Auggie's dad and Julia Roberts was of course amazing as his strong mother who never gives up on him. I liked they showed the relationship with his sister and the friends that he makes. I felt very invested with all of the characters and felt a lot of different emotions, from laughter to tears and also just wanting to protect Auggie from the harshness of the world.

This movie has a lot of lessons and would be good to take your kids to - they will definitely understand the message. If you see this movie please comment below and let me know that you liked it! I think anyone will enjoy this movie and remember - choose kind!

Rating: 4 out of 5

AshleyK Ashley K. (Contributor) is a frequent traveler currently living in San Diego. She's a super nerd who enjoys all kinds of movies and doesn't always think the book was better.
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Allow me to preface this review by stating that it will not contain a score rating.

After all, how can you rate what feels like it's yours? I'm unable to quantify the quality or enjoyment I perceived from WONDER because it more often than not felt very personal. Time and time again I would relate to experiences onscreen felt by the film's warmhearted, ill-tempered protagonist, only to discover how a juxtaposition of our lives would reveal their undesirable proximity. Granted, the plot is Hollywoodized to no end and the script is, at its worst, deceitful and manipulative, but there is something to be said in WONDER about humane empathy, self-love, and the kindness of people.

I sense something special about this Stephen Chbosky film that I did not with his previous effort THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, and that is the realistic convention of what a blissful fulfillment can be extrapolated from kindness. From personal experience, doubt and insecurity are undisputed rulers in disabled people's minds, especially those of us suffering from facial defects. A hunger for ever-constant validation from society is never quite nourished, but it can be alleviated through words and acts of good, of the type of honest kindness that is gentle to the touch. WONDER excellently showcases these moments, while sympathizing with the fact that they aren't at all common; instead, they exist far and few between the masses of weird looks, insults, and inappropriate comments that Chbosky also naively displays.

Not to paint an infallible picture, Chbosky does permeate WONDER with shortcomings. Much of it is keen on making you feel something in place of telling a story, a sacrifice that should be made with a more balanced mind. Characters feel redundant, character decisions feel contrived, and the humor can be an unhealthy dose of hit and miss. Nonetheless, the movie rises above its flaws, much like the titular boy with the scarring disease, and Chbosky finds a way to make you laugh and cry, often both at the same time.

WONDER is, in fact, a mirror. More than the cheesy "feel good movie" label it will unanimously be given, it is a triumphant accomplishment that feels vulnerable, terrifying, and relieving all at once. Perhaps a review isn't the platform for such a statement, but something has to be said about the comforting representation that this film provides. It was never pitched as a relatable, universal story, except for the empathetic plot line of dealing with the illness of a loved one. No, it is not even meant to amount to much at the box office, except for its star power draw. WONDER is a film that speaks on its own, that speaks for us, and our incurable state of incompletion. It is the raising of a hand that carries blame, scars, and tears; just to say that we're here, we're present.

Rating: N/A

Gerardo Gerardo (Contributor) is a film student living in Philadelphia. He usually prefers independent and classic films, but he will watch anything in theaters.
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