Wonder has been one of my favorite books since the time I've first read it in sixth grade, and reread, reread, and continued to reread. I never got sick of the characters, important themes, and the gut wrenching pain, but overall bittersweetness of the story of the boy with an extraordinary face. When I found out Wonder would get a movie adaptation, I was stoked, but also afraid in that typical way readers all get. Needless to stay, it impressed me so much. I always think books are simply better than movies, but this comes pretty darn close.
Wonder tells the story of August "Auggie" Pullman, a boy with a facial deformity (specifically labeled as Treacher Collins Syndrome), who for the first time is going to start fifth grade at a new school. He's really anxious to start. Living in Manhattan, Auggie has his own collection of stares he got in public for his face; he even wore an astronaut helmet for years. In the summer before attending fifth grade, he goes on a school tour with fellow students Charlotte, Julian, and Jack. Julian is very rude to Auggie, even asking if he has been in a fire for his face.
The movie continues to show us Auggie's journey into public school. He gets stares from others, tormented by Julian and his friend group, but he also earns friends of his own. Jack and Auggie become close friends, and even a girl named Summer from class. It's heartwarming and painful watching Auggie navigate through school.
What I loved about the novel and the movie especially was the ability to show the audience different points of views. Via, Auggie's sister, is a prominent part of the movie, and has her own section of finding her identity as she gets ignored by her family becaue of Auggie. I resonated well with Via, and the actress was profound in her performance.
The family and friendship aspects were stronger than ever. Owen Wilson and Julian Roberts playing Auggie's parents are comedic and also role models for Auggie to look up to.
I also loved the setting of Manhattan. The colors of the classroom and fifth grade halls were very vibrant. It definitely made me want to live in New York!
I cried about twenty times, and probably more, watching this film The closing scene ripped my heart out in a good way. One of my favorite quotes from the book is, "I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives." When I saw this adapated into the film as Auggie won the fifth grade award, I sobbed harder than ever.
Wonder is a film that displays true, sheer kindness. This movie has the power to touch anybody.