Tearjerkers aren’t for everybody, but Wonder is definitely a winner in my book.
The story of a child with a rare facial deformity called Treacher Collins syndrome, Wonder is a touching family drama with a mesmerizing performance at its center. 11 year old Jason Tremblay is SO good as the child in question. Although his face is mostly masked by prosthetics, he still manages to convey a range of emotion. You feel for his daily struggle in a world that’s populated by bullies and dictated by appearances.
Tremblay’s supporting cast in Wonder is exceptional. Predictably, Julia Roberts is superb as Auggie’s mother Isabel; Roberts is one of those actors whose face is uniquely expressive, and even the smallest proud smile can bring you to tears. As her husband, Owen Wilson is overshadowed, but that’s to be expected when he’s paired with such a powerhouse. Most impressive is Auggie’s best friend Jack played by Noah Jupe. Jupe feels like a thespian who’s been doing this for decades, and his turn is remarkably nuanced and affecting. If only all friendships were this heartfelt and endearing.
Some might find Wonder to be overly sentimental, but the film insightfully explores an overlooked disease and its impact on one boy’s community. Moreover, it delivers a strong message about compassion and empathy, and that’s something we can never have too much of in our harsh, brutal world.
Fine performances and a moving narrative make Wonder a beautiful little film.