On Friday night, I found myself rushing home, an hour late, to meet up with family and other local friends. I had planned to get home around 6:45 pm, change my clothes, and meet up at town movie theater to see Wonder at 7:15 pm. Instead, I was late, and didn’t get to the theater until 8 pm, and Namita had to meet me in the lobby to hand me my ticket.
After settling into my seat, I was pretty impressed my the child actors in the film. Most of the story is shared between August Pullman (a young boy with facial deformities played by Jacob Tremblay) and Via (his 16 year old sister played by Izabela Vidovic.) At other times, the film focused on the point-of-view of a key supporting character in the form of flashback, and some narration. It was different and interesting.
Coming into the film late, I learned that “Auggie” had been home schooled his entire life, but was now attending a private school on scholarship. Being a kid with facial deformity, the film primarily centers on his attempts to fit in. At the same time, the story is also very much about Via, who has been somewhat forgotten, feeling left out due to all of the attention placed on her brother. She’s in high school, her best friend has seemingly ditched her in the new school year.
Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson play Auggie and Via’s parents, but I found them to be almost non-entities. Julia Roberts has a very light role (from what I saw) as “the mother” but very little time is spent with her character. I felt that Owen Wilson is barely in the film. During one flashback to Via’s birthday, Owen Wilson wasn’t even seen.
Then again, the story is about the worlda of both of these kids, not the adults. The child actors are pretty darn good.
Overall, it’s a good heartwarming family movie, and comes with a definite recommendation from me.