Courtesy of Lionsgate Julia Roberts, left, and Jacob Tremblay star in "Wonder."

Movies & More reviewer John Gillispie shares his thoughts on "Wonder," which is rated PG and currently playing in theaters.

At a recent showing of the movie "Wonder" here in the Tri-State a few members of the audience clapped after the film ended, and some were heard to exclaim how much they enjoyed the movie.

About two-thirds of the way through the film, I was thinking to myself how much I really liked this movie. Then, briefly, I thought the movie was ready to end, but it didn't. But, it didn't take long for my appreciation of the movie to return for what was a strong ending.

"Wonder" tells the story of a boy named August (played by Jacob Tremblay) who is going to school for the first time. Up to this point, he has been taught at home by his mother (played by Julia Roberts).

August, who is called Auggie, and his family members are worried how the other children will react to him because he has had to undergo more than two dozen surgeries on his face in his young life. When Auggie is not wearing his astronaut helmet, people tend to stare at him. At one point, he gets asked if he has been in a fire.

Roberts is very good in her role as a protective mother who knows it is time for her son to learn about life outside the home. Owen Wilson is also good as Auggie's father.

I liked the fact that "Wonder" shows us the perspective of other characters in the film, including Auggie's older sister Via (played by Izabela Vidovic). Via loves her brother and is good to him. She feels that all the attention he gets from her parents is a little unfair to her. Things turn especially bad for Via when her best friend, Miranda (Danielle Rose Russell), stops talking to her without an explanation. Later, we learn why Miranda has treated Via this way.

Meanwhile, Auggie is bullied and taunted at school, but makes friends with Jack Will (Noah Jupe). Something happens that impacts their friendship and is difficult for Auggie to handle.

"Wonder" features interesting characters going through issues with which I felt audience members could relate. The movie evokes emotions and may bring a tear or two to your eye.

John Gillispie is the public relations director for the Huntington Museum of Art.


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