Based off R.J. Palacio’s novel, Wonder hit theaters November 17, instantly an ageless, heartfelt movie with impressive child acting that calls attention to child bullying.
The story follows a 10 year old boy, August “Auggie” Pullman, with a facial deformity as he braves private school after a life of homeschooling. Auggie navigates his way through his new lifestyle in a whirlwind of discovery.
With a main cast of almost all young children, my low expectations for child actors rose. It was surprising how, in every scene, each actor embodied their character with sincerity and professionalism. Lead actor Jacob Tremblay (Auggie), did not have a facial deformity so transformative makeup was used, but it was not just this makeup that made him believable in his character. Tremblay’s incredible acting made it seem as if he had a lifetime of experience of social isolation and judgment, under his belt.
Though Auggie’s journey remained central, the story drifted around to other points of views as well. We saw through the eyes of his older sister Via (Izabela Vidovic), for example. Her relatable experience as a high school student provided another character to empathize with and understand.
In a similar manner, Auggie’s parents (Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson) took on a concern many parents face; the fear that their child will be bullied. Though the pair’s overprotective nature occasionally rang through, they pushed their son into the “real world” as to not shelter him from the inevitable cruelness of it. Their difficult decisions that allowed Auggie to wholeheartedly experience his childhood show all of the obstacles parents face in raising their children.
The way each character had their own experiences and unique perspectives kept viewers captivated, and illuminated the idea that everyone has a story behind what they do. The movie incorporated a whole basket of emotions, varying from heartwarming to heartbreaking. Still, Wonder kept a generally optimistic mood that gave watchers good reason to believe everything was going to turn out alright.