Wonder DVD Reviewed BY Jon E Clist

The Premise
Based on the New York Times bestseller, WONDER tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman. Born with facial differences that, up until now, have prevented him from going to a mainstream school, Auggie becomes the most unlikely of heroes when he enters the local fifth grade. As his family, his new classmates, and the larger community all struggle to discover their compassion and acceptance, Auggie's extraordinary journey will unite them all and prove you can't blend in when you were born to stand out.

The Review
From the moment you watch the trailer you know this is going to be a film that will make you cry. It is also one of those films that is like a better-quality version of the “Sunday Night Sickness”. I know, that sounds a little harsh, but do you remember that time in our television history when Sunday night Disney films had moved on and were replaced by a tough but feel good film about someone overcoming an illness or death in the family etc? Well this is on of those films however, it has been backed up by a brilliant script and an amazing cast.

First of all let’s start with the actors that you will recognize and already love such as the incomparable Julia Roberts and the always quirky Owen Wilson. Sure, as soon as you see Owen Wilson in this film it smashes my heart back to Marley and Me and I know full well the tears are going to flow. Why? Well it is simple, Wilson is light-hearted and even in a serious-toned film he brings a levity that helps to balance out the intense emotions. I guess Julia Roberts could also be considered much the same, however she also brings a flavor that says, the mum we wished we had. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mum and she is perfect to me. There is however something rather special about Julia Roberts and even though she is as beautiful as the day she first hit our big screens, I think she has transitioned well to that of a caring matriarch. Based on their cinematic CVs, it is hard to imagine that this is the first time that Roberts has worked with Wilson. I would have thought this was a no-brainer pairing.

Outside of the actual storyline, the hero of this film is Jacob Tremblay. While he has been heavily made up to fit with the character of Auggie and his own physical issues, this is a young actor that is showing himself to be a thespian force to be reckoned with. Having seen him really come into the spotlight in the deeply moving and intensely stirring “Room”, this is a kid who has had some outstanding roles and then bringing them to an outstandingly complete fruition. Here is Wonder, he plays Auggie who’s facial disease is called mandibulofacial dystosis, also known as "Treacher Collins syndrome". Now it would be easy to just put any kid into the makeup and let it happen and hope that the visual cues would be enough to sell the story, however, director, Stephen Chbosky has done something rather amazing in selecting Tremblay to bring this role to life.

Jacob Tremblay and his family went to the children's craniofacial association retreat where Jacob got to meet and befriend children with Treacher Collins syndrome and this sort of preparation has obviously paid off in giving his performance a gritty realism that so fully draws the empathy and emotion from the audience.

This is a film that has a wonderful complete story that is brought to the forefront by solid performances and built on some well-crafted dialogue. At the centre of this story is the simple premise, if you have the choice between being right and being kind, Choose Kind.

The Verdict
Loved this film so very much and like some of the great films such as Pay it Forward, this is destined to be another film that could shape a cultural movement of choosing nice.

The Trailer

The Info
DVD Releases: 28th February 2018
Rating: PG – Contains coarse language
Duration: 113 minutes 
Genre:  Drama
Starring: Julia Roberts, Jacob Tremblay, Owen Wilson
Director: Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)

The Extras

Siblings Jacob Tremblay and Emma Tremblay are both featured in this movie together.

The second film based off a novel to be directed by Stephen Chbosky. The first was The Perks of a Being a Wallflower.

The second film adaptation of a novel in which it is narrated from the perspective of a child played by Jacob Tremblay, the first being Room.

Paul King was originally going to direct, but he dropped out in order to work on Paddington 2 (2017).

The character of Auggie loves Star Wars. Jacob Tremblay in real life is also a huge fan of Star Wars.