‘Wonder’ film review
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
Originally, I was going to watch the new Justice League film, but I couldn’t because I have not seen all of the films that are related to Justice League. Instead, I saw Wonder, which tells the story of a boy who is considered unlikable fitting in at a prep school, based on the bestselling book by R.J. Palacio.
Auggie Pullman (BC’s Jacob Tremblay) was born with an illness called Treacher Collins Syndrome and had to undergo 28 surgeries to fix his face. When his mother, Isabel (Julia Roberts), puts him in Beecher Prep for middle school, which his father, Nate (Owen Wilson), does not want him to attend, Auggie has a rough start. However, when some of the students spend time with him, he does wonderful things for the people around him.
The film not only follows Auggie, it also follows the people he interacts with. Each story intertwines with the others to show how something leads to an event, and this makes the film work—beginning with his sister, Via (Izabela Vidovic), so that we see what she is going through. The film also focuses on Isabel trying to be a children’s book author, and her story is spread out throughout the film.
There is a line that some people will laugh at when one of the students in the prep school says that she landed a part in an episode of Law and Order. I was laughing at a scene in the film in which Auggie helps his best friend, Jack (Noah Jupe), with a science quiz, and when they finish it Auggie drops his pencil like he is dropping a microphone. Also, there are funny moments from Homeland’s Mandy Patinkin as the principal of Beecher Prep, Mr. Tushman.
The soundtrack of Wonder has songs that can be heard in other films, which works well for this film, including a song that is in Napoleon Dynamite, “The Monster Mash,” Bruce Springsteen’s version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” and a choir version of The Polyphonic Spree song “Light and Day.”
While the film takes place in New York City, most of it was filmed in the Lower Mainland. Via’s high school scenes were filmed in Heritage Woods Secondary School, the courts of British Columbia can be seen in some scenes, and the nature reserve scenes were filmed in Camp Howdy.
To prepare for the film, Tremblay went to SickKids Hospital in Toronto to see people who have Treacher Collins Syndrome and learn what they had to go through with the illness. During the filming of it, Tremblay had to spend two hours having makeup done to make him look like his character.
Wonder is probably one of the best films of this year. I will end this review paraphrasing a line from the film: “When choosing between right and kind, choose kind.”