|Directed by||:||Stephen Chbosky||Produced by||:||Michael Beugg, Dan Clark, David Hoberman||Based on||:||Wonder, by R.J.Palacio||Starring||:||Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Jacob Tremblay, Noah Jupe, Izabela Vidovic||Production company||:||Lionsgate, Mandeville Films, Participant Media, Walden Media||Country||:||United States|
Before the credits roll on Wonder, your cheeks will be wet and your vision will be a touch blurred -- but you'll be smiling all the same.
It's an amazing experience to feel emotionally affected by a piece of cinema, but far more important is the authenticity of those emotions. There are particular buttons that filmmakers can always press to wring a few tears out of an audience, like the death or departure of a beloved pet or loved one, but the experience is made hollow and just feels like manipulation if it isn't backed up by anything substantive. From an outside perspective, it may seem like this is the foundation that writer/director Stephen Chbosky's Wonder is built upon, as the premise alone makes it look like it is begging for waterworks -- but the reality is that it's an impressively beautiful drama that's filled with miles of heart, some fantastic performances, and an incredibly earnest message that is really necessary for our world right now.
Adapted from the best-selling book by author R.J. Palacio, Wonder tells the remarkable story of August 'Auggie' Pullman (Jacob Tremblay) -- a young boy with a loving family who was born with a facial deformity that makes him look different than most kids. The summer before he is to enter fifth grade, his parents (Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson) decide that it is time for him to join a public school, which is an utterly terrifying prospect for a kid who prefers to spend time hidden from the world wearing an astronaut helmet with a dark visor.