Wonder teaches audience a meaningful lesson

By Phia Stayer

It’s a rare thing to find a movie so raw and pure it will leave moviegoers laughing, crying and thinking.  However, the realistic fiction movie Wonder has managed to captivate audiences of all ages since its release by Lionsgate on November 17th.  

The movie stars a 10 year old boy named Auggie (Jacob Tremblay), who has been homeschooled his whole life, and is just now starting public school.  However, Auggie was born with a facial deformity, and is worried about how his peers will treat him.  

It’s based on the young adult novel by R.J. Palacio, and is able to not only stick with the plot, but also holds fast to the innocent tone and the meaningful message that the book first delivered.  

The film follows Auggie as he learns to find his way in school and in the world.  Auggie faces bullying and exclusion at his school, but in the end, he manages to find friends and become just like any other 10-year-old boy.

The film does not only center around Auggie and his struggles, but it also feature the people in his life, such as his sister, Via (Izabela Vidovic), her best friend Miranda (Ali Liebert), and Auggie’s best friend, Jack (played by Noah Jupe).  It includes several subplots, such as his sister losing her best friend and his best friend Jack as he fights against peer pressure in an attempt to stay loyal to Auggie.  The struggles portrayed in Wonder are real, and are experienced by us all in one way or another.  

However, some scenes were slightly exaggerated from the reality of the fifth grade experience.  But these moments of over dramatic fight scenes, or far-too-casual teachers don’t detach from the overall realistic theme and mood of the movie.  

Another aspect that really brings the movie to life is the characters and their development.  With Auggie going to school, his parents (played by Owen Wilson and Julia Roberts in a stellar performance) are occupied with his needs, and his older sister feels neglected.  However, through communication the whole family grows and changes to provide a healthier dynamic.  The situation at home is mirrored at school, as Auggie’s friend gradually grow to accept him.  

The characters in the movie are alive, relatable and genuine.  The casting was perfect, and director Stephen Chbosky truly brought out the acting talent from the cast, and made it so the watcher could feel their emotions, their struggles and could walk right beside them throughout the film.  

But what really makes Wonder come alive is the beautiful cinematography, and the attention to detail throughout.  Auggie’s room is ordained with Star Wars posters, his sister wears her grandmother’s necklace, and their mother’s desk is covered in knickknacks and dirty dishes.  It’s small details like these that really allow the movie and it’s characters to seem more realistic.

The elaborate and intricate setting comes alive through the excellent camera work and editing of the film.  One can truly feel the emotion presented throughout the movie, because of how well the film has been decorated and revised.  

All in all, Wonder is a beautiful, emotional and honest film.  It’s a must see for all families with children, and even teens and adults on their own.  Wonder tells a story that everyone can relate to, and tells a lesson that everyone needs to learn.