The idea of going through your school years just simply blending in is one many aspire to, because lets face it, kids can be the worst. When I was a wee lad I blended in just fine, so well in fact I bet most of the kids don’t remember me. That though is not the case for everyone, some want to stick out and for me those kids were just plain crazy.
I know another kid who would prefer to blend in and his name is August (Jacob Tremblay) or how he likes to be called Auggie. You see Auggie was born in a way that he doesn’t look like most people, which as you know doesn’t sit well in schools. While Auggie is different, his family is about as perfect as can be. His mother Isabel (Julia Roberts) has home schooled Auggie up until now and his father Nate (Owen Wilson) might be the coolest dad alive, but so would your dad if he was Owen Wilson. Auggie you see is the sun in his family and the universe rotates around him because of what he has been through. While that works for Augie, his sister Via (Izabela Vidovic) has kind of had to make it through life on her own. Life though is about to change for all, as Auggie is about to start real school and all that that implies, as expected things get off to a rough start, but soon Auggie is making friends, Via is finding herself, and for the most part everything is coming up roses for the Pullmans. As a family they do go through the valleys of life, their love for one another makes sure they always reach the peak of this thing we call life.
Just hearing that story, you can assume you will do a lot of cheering for Auggie to make it through this story unscathed. The good news is you know things will work out, but do know along the way your heartstrings will get pulled on quite often. Writers Jack Throne, Steve Conrad, and Stephen Chbosky, give you a story that feels sadder then it should be, a story that is based on the novel by R.J. Palacio. Every time you think things are working out something comes along to set you back and to bring back the watery eyes. Sure, is sucks to feel that way, but the good news is you will be rewarded for it in the end, which makes it all worth it in my eyes. “Wonder” has two good leads playing the parents, but it is the kids who steal the show lead by Tremblay. Even though he may be the center of the story he is not the heart, instead that is Vidovic, who finds a way to get your attention more than Tremblay. The performances bring most of the emotion you will feel at particular moments, but the story will keep the lump in your throat for the almost two hours of run time.
This film which preaches kindness and not to judge people for what they look like, but instead for who they are is something kids should see. If through all the tears that will lead to a big smile on your face is not enough, Mandy Patinkin plays the headmaster, and he’s always a joy to watch. This is by no means a sad movie, but a film that will make you feel emotional nonetheless.