Friday, 17 November 2017 00:00

Wonder Featured

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Review written by Jon Patch with 4 out of 4 paws


Lionsgate, Mandeville Films and Participant Media present a PG, 113 minute, Drama, directed by Stephen Chbosky, written by Chbosky and Steve Conrad with a theatre release date of November 17, 2017.


August ‘Augie’ Pullman (Jacob Tremblay) lives in New York with his mother Isabel (Julia Roberts), father Nate (Owen Wilson), sister Olivia ‘Via’ (Izabela Vidovic) and their dog Daisy. He lives in an ordinary world and does ordinary things but he is not an ordinary looking young boy. Born with facial malformations Auggie has the heart of a boy but lives with the challenges of a man in the outside world. He covers himself most of the time with a space helmet given to him as a present from Miranda (Danielle Rose Russell), Via’s best friend. At least they were best friends until Miranda went away to camp for the summer and returned no longer friendly towards Via. Sometimes in life the person that pulls away is dealing with personal hurdles and it may not always be about the person left behind. Everyone copes in different ways and for Miranda she was dealing with her issues the way she thought best while keeping others that may be close to her in the dark.

Auggie was home schooled by his mother all of his young life but Isabel thought it is about time he face the world sending him to fifth grade at Beecher Prep School. Auggie first meets Principle Mr. Tushman (Mandy Patinkin) who asks three students, Charlotte (Elle McKinnon) a young girl familiar with Broadway, Julian (Bryce Gheisar) a spoiled know it all that ends up being a bully to Auggie and Jack Will (Noah Jupe)the son every parent would love to raise. They tour Auggie of the grounds before school starts and Mr. Tushman hopes they will end up being friends but hopes are not reality and in reality Auggie has many obstacles to overcome in his new world.

Meanwhile, Via struggles with being neglected not only by her best friend but also her parents. They don’t quite always see that their world evolves around their son as does Via’s for the most part. Sometimes in life being anything but ordinary is good, it’s good to challenge yourself sometimes and for Via that is by joining the theater club at school where she meets her new boyfriend Justin (Nadji Jeter). In the end, relationships find a way, the loss of a loved one is experienced, a mother finds her way back and family is not always only blood but many times an extension of life.

This film is anything but normal, it is excellently directed and written with lessons learned about acceptance, love, death, family, rejection, strength, cruelty, coping, anger, laughter, smiles and tears, albeit life. Each member of the main core to the story are brilliantly developed and understood making what you see much different than what you know. In a world of film with gangsters, villains, super-heroes, monsters and violence it is a great pleasure to watch a film about values all done perfectly and wrapped up like the most phenomenally brilliant Christmas present underneath the tree this year. So don’t miss out on a story that will make you appreciate the life you have no matter how ordinary or not that you are. Remember that not ordinary stands out among all the ordinary in the world making you special and a gift from God.

Roberts is pure perfection as always and as she ages she becomes even a prettier woman with the roles she chooses to portray. Wilson proves that he can be funny but when he needs to he knows how to be serious and do it right. Vidovic is a rock and the perfect daughter that every mother wishes to raise, understanding and listening throughout life. Tremblay is hands down superb as Auggie using his expressions with his body and voice to draw you in to a boy learning to live in a not so ordinary world. Jupe is definitely a bright light, Gheisar proof that the leaf can learn not to fall so close to the tree, McKinnon some good levity mixed in along with Millie David who plays Summer, a young girl not afraid of the plague. Jeter and Russell may not have huge roles but they are nothing short of important to the story. A great film with a great cast with an even greater story to be told on the big screen taken from a best selling book.

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