If You’re Wondering about Wonder

A meaningful movie with a compelling message


photo courtesy of Wonder IMDb

Choose Kind is the motto that rings throughout the movie and book alike

Katie Willard, Features Editor


That’s all he ever wanted to be. But August Pullman is extraordinary.

He’s intelligent, humorous and way ahead of his age.

Auggie (Jacob Tremblay), is about to experience a brand new, cruel but curious world known as middle school. Being home schooled for his entire life, he doesn’t have the privilege of already having friends to sit by in class of the first day in a new atmosphere.

But that is only a minor set-back. Auggie was born with a facial deformity. As if junior high wasn’t already intimidating enough, Auggie has to face bullies, long gazes and naive questions.

Knowing the ropes of middle school, sitting down in the dark theater, I knew that this transition would be hard for Auggie. Despite how I wanted him to succeed, I knew it wouldn’t be all laughs and smiles the first day.

Though Auggie has had countless surgeries since he was a baby, he still doesn’t look like the other kids. This is his biggest insecurity: being and looking different.

Isabel Pullman (Julia Roberts) is a typical mom, putting her child before anything and anyone else. She is always the shoulder to cry on. Auggie’s rock. She wants the best for her only son and pushes him to go to a real school. This creates new highs and lows for August.

Auggie has a love for space. He has a dream of becoming an astronaut someday. Along with that, to forgo the awkward stares, he wears an astronaut helmet everywhere. That way no one could gawk. This is his safe-haven, but according to Nate Pullman (Owen Wilson), it has to disappear at the start of school . He could no longer hide behind his safe place.

Seeing the relationship between Auggie and Isabel was one of the most heartwarming aspects of the film. Especially when he comes home from his first day of school. He wants to hide away and wear his astronaut helmet for the rest of the day. Disappearing from the dinner table to his room, Isabel and Nate Pullman know something happened. A definite tear jerking moment was when Isabel had a heart to heart moment with her son, letting him know how everyone’s faces have different marks, giving them uniqueness.

Throughout the film, different point of views take place. Via Pullman (Izabela Vidovic) is an important view because she is Auggie’s older sister. She sees how her little brother is being treated and she knows the hardships of school.

Via’s side of the story brings a unique perspective. Via is strong for her brother even when she is feeling weak. She perceives as though she is a forgotten child. She goes through her own problems but they don’t seem to matter to her parents. Through all this, she still couldn’t be a more understanding big sister. Me being the youngest of 3, I couldn’t relate as much as those who may be the first child. But regardless, anyone can feel for her seeing how many aspects of their lives revolve around Auggie.

Along with Via struggling with her friends in high school, so is her little brother. Auggie has trouble deciphering who is being forced to be his friend and who genuinely wants to get to know him. Despite the difficulties, Summer and Jack become his best friends. Jack even has his own perspective in the movie. Going from freak to favored, Auggie ends up tugging on everyone’s heartstrings and becoming an inspiration to all. Even the bullies.

Shining light on the toll of bullying due to other’s differences, director Stephen Chbosky’s Wonder sent a powerful message through the life of a 5th grade boy. A seemingly simple moral: choose kind.

Based off of the New York Times bestseller WONDER written by R.J. Palacio, this tear-jerking novel was made into an even more emotion evoking movie. The book and movie have different point of views, telling a similar but individual story revolving around Auggie.

Without a doubt, this movie is exceptionally touching. With Auggie narrating throughout, it’s as if he is telling the viewer his story himself. Being rated PG, WONDER applies to all ages. However don’t expect to come out with dry eyes. Men, women, old and young, were all trying to hide their sniffles and watery eyes walking out of the theater.