By Bianca Smith • November 20, 2017
Wonder opened in cinemas last week. If you don't know the book by R.J. Palacio, Wonder is the delightful story of Auggie, a 10-year old boy with an extreme facial deformity who's just starting at middle school. Auggie has all the typical problems with starting school: teachers and making friends. And it's made worse because he was previously home-schooled and his deformity makes him a target for bullies. He enjoys Halloween because in costume he can just be Auggie.
"I wish every day could be Halloween. We could all wear masks all the time. Then we could walk around and get to know each other before we got to see what we looked like under the masks."
Julia Roberts plays Auggie's mom, Isabel. His dad is played by Owen Wilson. And Jacob Tremblay is Auggie Pullman. Previous to Wonder, Jacob played Jack in the Oscar-winning Room. Most promising to the story is the director, Stephen Chbosky. Stephen is best known for writing and directing both the book and movie: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Test screenings on Wonder were such a success the release was delayed to take on Disney/Pixar's Coco as Thanksgiving releases. Early critics reports agree:
Based on a children's novel that sparked a "Choose Kind" movement — "kind" as in "kindness," or what the world needs now — Wonder brings an upbeat openheartedness to tough questions. Its lessons in compassion and self-acceptance are treacle-free, and however movie-shiny the story's world of economic comfort and prep school, those lessons pack a universal punch. - The Hollywood Reporter
The film works because it finds some genuine common ground: Everybody wants to be seen, but nobody wants to be stared at. Chbosky might yank us through the wringer like we're in a car wash, but it's nice to feel clean for a change. - Indiewire
But with how uplifting Wonder is and how many awards the book has won, we're not surprised.
And R.J. Palacio's reaction to the movie adaptation? "You leave the movie feeling good, really good, and certainly given the times we're living in now, that's something really great."
If you haven't read Wonder, we recommend it (of course), but also bundle up the family to see it this Thanksgiving. After all, we all sometimes need reminders that love is not skin deep.