Heart­felt story of tenac­ity

A STORY FULL OF LIT­TLE LESSONS IN EM­PA­THY A fan­tas­tic cin­e­matic pre­sen­ta­tion of RJ Pala­cio’s novel.

The Citizen (KZN) - - FILM - Adri­aan Roets info

Maybe it’s the re­lease of it all. Shed­ding a tear dur­ing a par­tic­u­larly sad movie makes you in­stantly feel bet­ter once you step out of the cin­ema. The thing is, many peo­ple don’t will­ingly walk into such films. Not be­cause they’re heart­less: “in­spi­ra­tional” films are so of­ten overly schmaltzy.

Won­der takes a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion in the way it han­dles its tear­jerk­ing con­tent – it makes it heart­felt in­stead of heart­break­ing – not only cre­at­ing some­thing that is eas­ier to watch but a tad more en­joy­able.

Star­ring Os­car-nom­i­nated Ja­cob Trem­blay as Aug­gie – a pre­co­cious boy suf­fer­ing from a rare fa­cial de­for­mity – Won­der is rich with lit­tle lessons about em­pa­thy.

When Aug­gie, pre­vi­ously home­schooled, fi­nally starts at­tend­ing school he’s tasked with walk­ing long friend­less hall­ways ev­ery day. But through his tenac­ity, par­ents who con­sis­tently reaf­firms his value and the fact that ex­cept for be­ing ex­cep­tion­ally smart – he’s also a lov­able geek at heart – he soon be­friends a class­mate, Jack.

What un­folds is the story of un­likely friend­ships, how hu­mans can con­nect in un­ex­pected ways, and how bul­lies are of­ten en­abled by oth­ers.

Trem­blay de­liv­ers an en­dear­ing per­for­mance, but Owen Wil­son and Ju­lia Roberts only give wooden por­tray­als of sym­pa­thetic par­ents – a shame be­cause daz­zling per­for­mances from them could have added another layer to the film. There’s noth­ing ex­cep­tional about Won­der – ex­cept its un­der­ly­ing


Ja­cob Trem­blay, Ju­lia Roberts and Owen Wil­son Stephen Ch­bosky 7–9PG

Di­rec­tor: Clas­si­fi­ca­tion:

theme to choose kind­ness – a sobering re­minder that we are in­trin­si­cally in­volved in our own ex­pe­ri­ences of the world around us.

Won­der is based on RJ Pala­cio’s sim­i­larly-ti­tled novel – and as a re­sult fam­ily dy­nam­ics are also ex­plored. It in­cludes gen­er­ous back­sto­ries for char­ac­ters, as well as telling Aug­gie’s sis­ter Via’s own strug­gles – some­thing that would usu­ally get cut in the process of turn­ing a novel into a film. If you read the source ma­te­rial, Won­der is a good rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the work – sen­ti­men­tal and well-made.

Pic­tures: Times Me­dia Films

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