Don’t let the the plotline fool you, as Wonder is not an overly sappy family drama that aims for the lowest common denominator. For one, the picture, which is based on R.J. Palacio’s 2012 novel, is directed by The Perks of Being a Wallflower filmmaker Stephen Chbosky. As with Perks, Chbosky approaches the material with insight, preferring to let this refreshingly intricate story (and not cloying emotion) lead the way.
The storyline centers on Auggie (Room’s Jacob Tremblay), a boy with a facial deformity who enters fifth grade. Home schooled and sheltered by his parents (Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson) and older sister Via (Izabela Vidovic), Auggie has a hard time fitting in thanks to a bullying classmate (Bryce Gheisar) and his friends. Slowly but surely, Auggie makes a couple of friends and gradually finds that school actually has its merits.
The tale may be predictable, but Chbosky frames his narrative by giving various characters their own moment in the film to shine. For example, Via has her very own subplot which deals with her own feelings of neglect (Vidovic, who does a stirring monologue in the picture, is a revelation). Noah Jupe, who plays Auggie’s best friend Jack, is also given his own section of the story which also bolsters the narrative. Roberts and Wilson, though they are the film’s A-list stars, are just a small part of the overall picture, as Tremblay’s excellent performance is ultimately the star of the picture.
Special features on the Blu-ray include a five-part documentary, three featurettes (a look at the making of the soundtrack, “What a Wonderful World”, “A Child’s Sense of Wonder”), audio commentary from Chbosky and Palacio, and a music video (“Brand New Eyes”). The DVD version comes with the commentary, music video, and the soundtrack featurette.
Click on the media bar below to hear Julia Roberts talk about one of the themes behind Wonder:
Coco was the #1 movie during the Thanksgiving Day weekend (November 24-26) with a $49 million take. Justice League, which has suffered from bad reviews and poor word of mouth, was close behind with $40.7 million. Wonder had a second solid weekend with $22.3 million. Here’s this weekend’s top 10:
1. Coco – Sure to be nominated for an Oscar, this highly praised animated flick makes $49 million.
2. Justice League – $40.7 million
3. Wonder – Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson headlined flick collects $22.3 million
4. Thor: Ragnarok – $16.7 million
5. Daddy’s Home 2 – $13.2 million
6. Murder on the Orient Express – Considering it cost $55 million, the picture has done well with a $175 million gross. This weekend it takes in $13 million.
7. The Star – $6.8 million
8. A Bad Moms Christmas – $5 million
9. Roman J. Israel, Esq. – Denzel Washington flick bombs with just $4.5 million
10. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Fox Searchlight drama which will be remembered come awards season makes $4.4 million.
You can expect a few tears to be shed in theaters when Wonder opens this Friday. Based on the bestselling book, it tells the story of a young boy with facial deformities who goes to public school for the first time and tries to fit in. Jacob Tremblay, who delivered an amazing performance in 2015’s Room, plays August Pullman in a way that will — pardon the cliché — make you laugh, make you cry, and ultimately make you cheer. We talked with Tremblay and his on-screen mother, Oscar-winner Julia Roberts, and asked if they were able to hold back the tears when they saw the finished film.
Based on R.J. Palacio’s 2012 novel, Wonder centers on a young boy named Auggie (Jacob Tremblay) whose facial differences has kept him away from school for most of his life. Spending a considerable time in hospitals as well as being home schooled (Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson play his parents), Auggie gives school a shot as a fifth grader.
“I just thought it had an incredible scope of characters and their points of view and their compassion,” said Roberts. “I loved it. I read it with my kids – they all loved it. It was at that point where I thought ‘let me just find out who – this (must) be being made into a movie I was not the first to the party of loving this book.”
Click on the media bar to hear Roberts explain how the book was a “gentle reminder” to, when conversing with people to always go for the “nicer approach.”
Based on the New York Times bestseller, Wonder centers August Pullman (Room’sJacob Tremblay), a fifth grader who initially feels like an outsider at his school due to his facial differences. In and out of the hospital for most of his life, August is an kindhearted, well meaning soul who has the obvious love of his parents (Julia Roberts,Owen Wilson) and will predictably win over the hearts and minds of his fellow classmates.
Predictable and tearjerker films are not a bad thing, especially when a film has a topline cast. Stephen Chbosky, who directed the first rate drama The Perks of Being A Wallflower, is the man behind the camera, and that definitely bodes well for Wonder. Check out the newest trailer and tell us what you think!
Wonder, co-starring Daveed Diggs and Mandy Patinkin, opens nationwide November 17.