“Why do I have to be so ugly? Why can’t I look like everybody else?” cries Auggie Pullman (Jacob Tremblay). Born with genetic abnormalities requiring 27 operations, 10-year-old Auggie, home-schooled by his mother (Julia Roberts), now attends elementary school. Mocked on the first day by other fifth-graders, Auggie asks, “Is it always going to be like this?” That’s the setup for this feel-good story of how Auggie, with severe facial deformities, survives his first year in school.
How do Auggie and Jack (Noah Jupe) become friends? Can Julian (Bryce Gheisar) learn to be kind? Will “Wonder” make you weepy? I was teary-eyed.
Talented young actors lead the cast of “Wonder.” Jacob Tremblay as August (Auggie) Pullman is compelling, touching and a true “wonder” with whom it’s easy to empathize. Noah Jupe is Jack Will, Auggie’s first and, for a time, only friend. Millie Davis is shy Summer, another early friend. Bryce Gheisar plays bully Julian
“Wonder” is the best feel-good weepy I’ve seen in a long time. It’s (mostly) Auggie’s story, (mostly) narrated by Auggie, so it’s difficult not to identify with him.
Directed and co-written by Stephen Chbosky (Steven Conrad is co-writer), “Wonder” is a message movie. Characters in the film tell us the message: “When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.”