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Wonder Review

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Wonder Review

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Wonder is a drama directed by Stephen Chbosky that was released on November 17, 2017. Before Wonder, Chbosky directed 2015 movie The Perks of Being A Wallflower. The movie is adapted from the book, also titled Wonder. With few changes, this movie stays true to the book. The main character, Auggie, is played by ten-year-old Jacob Tremblay, who acted in the 2015 movie Room. Auggie has a facial deformity called Treacher Collins Syndrome and has had twenty-seven surgeries since birth. His mom, played by Julia Roberts, has homeschooled Auggie all his life. When he turns ten, his dad, Nate, played by Owen Wilson, makes the decision to send his son to public school so he can learn to socialize. At the school Auggie attends, Beecher Prep School, he encounters bullies and makes new friends along the way. When Auggie first arrives at school, he comes with his favorite astronaut helmet over his head to hide his face. Before going through the gates, his dad takes the helmet off, exposing the audience to Auggie’s face.

Throughout the movie, the narration is from multiple main characters, from Auggie to his sister and parents, to his friends and bullies. Seeing the plot develop through different characters’ shoes gives the movie depth and perspective, and develops every character thoroughly. This also prevents the movie from becoming a typical, cheesy feel-good Hollywood film, because the plot is told from different perspectives, letting the audience know the motives behind each character’s actions. The movie has a cozy vibe and will make anyone of any age feel good.

In the book, the teacher, Mr. Browne, quotes Dr. Wayne Dyer saying, “If you have a choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.” This quote has sparked the hashtag and movement #choosekind. The movie adapts this quote well when a girl sits next to Auggie during lunch out of choice and compassion. A quick look at the trending hashtag on Twitter reveals that it isn’t just about being kind to people who look different but being kind to all people of all genders and races.

Some may think that Wonder is based on a true story, but sadly, it is not. Though, the story of why the author, RJ Palacio, wrote the book may lead some to think that it is based on a true story. She got the idea for her bestselling book when she took her children to the ice cream store and the family sat down next to a girl with a facial deformity. Her three-year-old son was frightened by the girl and started crying, and Palacio and her family left the store. When Palacio got home, she was angry at herself that she fled the scene instead of teaching her kids that there was nothing to be afraid of. The next day, she started writing Wonder.

This wonderful movie will make anyone smile, and maybe cry. It doesn’t just teach kids that bullying is bad, but also that being kind but frowned upon can sometimes be better than following the crowd.

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