Wonder (2017): Face the Facts

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“Wonder” is directed by Stephen Chbosky, and stars Jacob Tremblay (Room, The Smurfs 2), Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman, Ocean’s Eleven), Owen Wilson (Wedding Crashers, Cars), Izabela Vidovic (About a Boy, The Fosters), and the movie revolves around a young boy named August Pullman. He is what one would consider unique, and if you watch this film and observe his face, you’d understand why. The movie covers what’s going on as this boy enters the fifth grade and goes to a regular elementary school for the first time.

This movie is based on a New York Times Bestselling Novel. Now, I’m gonna restate something I said about books in a review I made prior to this one, specifically in my review for “The Firm.”

“…movies are more fun! Sorry, books!”

As a movie reviewing moron, you might already know I enjoy watching movies as opposed to reading books. Even though I imagine this book is very good, I just haven’t gotten around to reading it. Although as for the movie, I’d say it was enjoyable, but not perfect. It has a great cast, I like Owen Wilson in a lot of the stuff he’s in and he’s great here. In fact when it comes to casting, the resemblance between him and the young main character is hard to top! Just look at their hairstyles! Julia Roberts was also on her A-game, I haven’t really seen much of her work, but I know how much others praise her. Jacob Tremblay proves that he means business. I honestly think he’s one of the best child actors working today. Months before going to see this, I’ll have you know I watched “Room” and I thought that was one of the best movies of 2015. It’s in my top 3 with “The Martian” and “Star Wars Episode VII.” That movie had one of the best screenplays of the decade, Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay had some of the greatest chemistry in a movie released that year, and there’s a part of me that wants to talk about it with everybody. Seriously! If you haven’t watched “Room,” see it now! If you have Amazon Prime then it’s free to watch!

This movie also has an intriguing screenplay that offers moments of happiness, sadness, and laughs. However, it also offers moments that I just want written off entirely. I remember having my verdict in mind as the movie was coming to an end and I hear this one line given by Owen Wilson’s character given to Jacob Tremblay’s character and it took that grade I had and I shrunk it down. I won’t say what it is, but it made me think of the line as unrealistic not only by the standards of what’s happening in the film but it also made me think that if I were the age of Jacob Tremblay’s character, I’d go through the scene reacting in a much different way. Let’s just say it starts with Jacob Tremblay freaking out over something and then he suddenly is calmed down by a line I assume that was supposed to get the audience to remember what this movie’s main point is. Speaking of Jacob Tremblay, let’s move onto him.

Jacob Tremblay plays the film’s main character, August Pullman. He has a facial deformity, which triggers a bunch of reactions from various characters. While his family seems to understand what happened to his face, after all, it’s his family I’m talking about, I don’t know why they wouldn’t understand, other people are either freaked out by it, think he’s a loser, or simply different. I honestly don’t know many people with facial deformities, but I’d say for younger viewers watching, this character can be important for those who have deformities or even if they don’t, regardless of whether or not they know someone with deformities. Luckily this movie is PG, so I’d say parents would be more likely to bring their kid to the movie theater to see this than some other films. I will also say I can relate to this character, and it kind of has to do with the part that makes him a kid. I say this because legally speaking, I’m an adult, but simultaneously, I still have childish traits, mainly the fact that I have a deep fanaticism for “Star Wars.” Yes, many adults enjoy “Star Wars,” but George Lucas, director of several installments of the “Star Wars” saga once said “it’s a film for 12-year-olds.”

Speaking of “Star Wars,” this film also interjects brief appearances from multiple “Star Wars” characters, including Darth Sidious and Chewbacca. I can only wonder how much this cost because this film is from Lionsgate, and “Star Wars” is owned by Disney. I never read the book, and it’s possible that this is faithful to the source material, maybe it cost nothing and Disney thought this was cool. By the way, the guy who plays Chewbacca (Michael Alan Healy) actually pretty much only plays him and nobody else. I checked his IMDb and that’s the only character that would show up on his page. He played Chewbacca on the “Today” show, he was on two “Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards” shows as the character, he was Chewie on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” and he was even on “Deal or no Deal” as the same wookie. In fact, I remember the episode he was on because I’ve seen it, and it was a special episode with a “Star Wars” theme where it was a “Winner Take All” match between two contestants. Chewbacca appeared alongside R2-D2 to support the contestant. Also, the other contestant actually had Carrie Fisher rooting for her! Not only that, but for the Carrie Fisher contestant, she was playing a game where the models were Stormtroopers. And Darth Vader was the banker for both contestants!

Alright, those are my “Star Wars” and “Deal or no Deal” rants for now, sorry if those inconvenienced you. Anyway, back to business.

As far as the parents go in this movie, I already said a few things about them, but in all seriousness, their chemistry with each other was completely believable. I also bought into the chemistry between them and August. This is an interesting moment when you have a child actor playing a major character in the movie and instead of the traditional situation where the child can’t act and the adults can, the adults tend to be more of a highlight than a downfall, everyone here however tends to shine. It doesn’t really surprise me. All of these people have received positive criticism as time passed, and honestly, Jacob Tremblay might even be a better actor than a lot of adults. Although to be fair you can put any kid up against Tommy Wiseau from “The Room” and consider them to be a better actor.

JOHNNY (played by Tommy Wiseau): (GOING THROUGH DOOR ONTO ROOFTOP) I did not hit her, it’s not true! It’s bulls*it! I did not hit her! (WHILE THROWING WATER BOTTLE ONTO GROUND) I did *not*. Oh hi, Mark.

August also has a sister in this movie named Olivia, or Via for short. There weren’t too many good images I could find of this character, so I hope this poster isn’t too bad. What kind of surprised me about her character is how nice and considerate she was to others, even to her own brother. I often come across and imagine many relationships where siblings fight each other. In reality, this would be rather odd considering Via’s age, but still. I liked her story, for the most part. I say for the most part because she does interact someone in the movie and at times I felt that the way their relationship was going just came off as a bit forced. Not to mention, some of the dialogue regarding this relationship was rather cheesy, not as bad as say “Star Wars Episode II” but it felt like I was reading some crappy fanfiction written on someone’s Blackberry. No, not “Fifty Shades of Grey,” I’m thinking of something imaginary and a lot less on the mature side of the spectrum.

There are a number of kids August meets in the movie, one of the first ones he talks to when he enters school goes by the name of Julian, who you may know as Herman from “Walk the Prank,” and there was one moment of the movie that just caught my eye. There was a point where the film basically villainized him and he was talking with the school’s principal. Speaking of the principal, his character goes by the name of Mr. Tushman, played by Mandy Patinkin, who you may know from “The Princess Bride” and “Homeland.” His character honestly brought some very forced humor that just didn’t land. Going back to Julian, he was talking with the principal and his parents are there. The focal point of the conversation is August, and Julian is basically saying that he is against August and his parents side with him. They even say there’s a reason to be against him just because of the way he looks. It just makes me wonder, how many people are like this? It might as well show that either parents will defend their children no matter what, maybe they think their kid is “always right,” the parents might have a bias because their kid says something, and not everyone has the same experiences with certain people. It also sometimes just goes to show how people will judge you based on your appearance. I can’t really say I’m male model material, but I imagine some people think I look presentable. How often do people get past what they see and just focus on what they learn through basic conversation? What if Meg from “Family Guy,” a character usually considered ugly not only by society, but also by her own family, had more friends just because they were interested in what she had to say? By the way, it’s always interested me she’s that way because she’s played by Mila Kunis and she’s f*cking gorgeous!

In the end, “Wonder” is a film that I believe many people wouldn’t mind watching at least once. I’d say it’s got problems, but at the same time, I don’t think people should stay away from it completely because it is a good story for families and children. I really do think that younger audiences can enjoy and take something from this movie, and not just because it partially involves “Star Wars” but because the movie’s about inclusion, fitting in, and how certain friends can surprise you in both pleasant and unfortunate ways. Upon looking at his IMDb, this is the third thing I’ve seen featuring Jacob Tremblay, the other two things were “Room” and one episode of “American Dad!,” I can’t wait to see him in future works if I get the chance. I’m gonna give “Wonder” a 7/10. Thanks for reading this review, I just want you to know if you haven’t already, you should try checking out Stardust.

Stardust is a free app you can download on the App Store and Google Play. It can be used by people to provide reactions to movies and TV shows. Let’s say you finished watching the latest episode of “Game of Thrones,” you can record a thirty second video (at maximum) where you reveal your thoughts and you can provide a rating from 1-5 stars towards the episode you’re focusing on. Worried about revealing spoilers? Keep those worries away! Stardust has an option that can warn others that your video contains spoilers! In fact, you don’t even have to see whatever it is you’re watching. If you haven’t seen “Revenge of the Nerds,” by the way, watch it, you can still talk about it. Maybe you’re about to watch it and you decide to give your thoughts going into it, or maybe you’ve seen the trailer or something, I don’t know. You can do all of that and you can also follow other people to see their latest reactions, by the way, follow my handle, JackDrees! Be sure to download the app, I recommend it, the app’s free, which makes it even better, and I hope to see you there!

I just want you to know that I’m a nerd, I might even be king of the nerds, and as the possible ruler, I want you to know that I recently posted a piece of nerdy material, otherwise known as my post documenting my time at 2017’s Rhode Island Comic Con. I went there, met more people than I’ve met at any other con I went to. I met someone who I’ve met in the past, and I even confused one guest for another! So if you’re interested in reading that post, I’ll have the link down below, that way you can go to the post and enjoy it! Stay tuned for more great content! Also, I want to know, what are your thoughts on Jacob Tremblay? Do you like him as an actor? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

RHODE ISLAND COMIC CON 2017 REVIEW AND HAUL: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/11/15/rhode-island-comic-con-2017-review-and-haul/

2 comments

  1. Meghan · November 27, 2017

    1.) I really loved the book, so I’m really hoping the movie at least does a little justice to it.
    2.) I still can’t see Owen Wilson without thinking of that stupid “preeetty creepy” line from the Haunting, so…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: How to Be a Latin Lover (2017): Perhaps 2017’s Most Awkward Event Since the US Presidential Inauguration | Scene Before

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