Auggie, a fifth-grade boy, born with facial deformity, goes to public school for the 1st time, after being home schooled his entire life. He gets rejected and bullied at first, then he blends in and becomes accepted as the year passes. At the end he receives a standing ovation after being awarded an honorary medal at his graduation.
The idea may be inspiring, but the movie is disappointing for me! Knowing that it is based on a children novel clarified things but as much as I loved Jacob Tremblay’s performance as Auggie, enjoyed Julia Roberts as his loving mother who paused her life to deal with his disease, raise him and educate him, and laughed nearly every time Owen Wilson appeared on screen, I still find the story weak.
In reality life is not that simple, bullies don’t get discovered that easily and they don’t regret their acts effortlessly!
Different people take more time to blend in and be accepted specially when nothing extraordinary is done from their side to earn acceptance. Yes Auggie is well raised, cute, warm hearted and very smart, but you need to know him in order to discover that, but his looks will prevent many from doing so given the fact that to some extent he wasn’t accepting himself.
Having black people to be the first to accept him (His teacher, Summer & Jason) is a projection to the fact that people who suffered rejection gets attracted to each other which is also idealistic to some extent!
His Sister Via’s life is also dreamy, she is a balanced teenager; she loves her brother so much, she is affected that her family’s universe rotates around Auggie but in a healthy amount ! She discovers that her best friends cut her off, minutes later she mets a guy who like her, gets enrolled in the theatre club. Her friend (the child of divorce, who blocks her because she felt jealous from her life) feels guilty and try to make things right so she drops from the leading role of a school play giving it to Via !! REALLY?!!!!!!!
and many other details that has been too perfect to be true; the indefectible school principal, the teacher who left wall street to pursue his dream teaching, the bully friends became Auggie’s allies in a fight instead of continuing to bully him after their friend left school because of him!
The message of the movie is important and clear, and if the target audience are young adults and children, just like the novel, then it may be to the point. But as an adult, the movie has no complexity and no depth, characters’s backstories are too artificial.
Wonder 2017 . PG 113 min
Based on a Novel by RJ Palacio
Written by: Stephen Chbosky, Steve Conrad, Jack Thorne
Cast: Julia Roberts, Jacob Tremblay, Owen Wilson
Directed by: Stephen Chbosky