Wonder (2017)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Wonder</strong> (2017)

(On Cable TV, October 2018) Frankly, I expected much worse from Wonder after seeing its rather misleading trailer. To believe the coming attraction, we have to brace ourselves for an entire film’s worth of seeing a facially disfigured boy trying to fit at a new school. But, as we know, trailers lie—or at least misdirect, because even if the film is about a facially disfigured boy’s adventures in fitting at his new school, it’s also quite a bit more than that, and in this case the subplots are what keeps the film interesting beyond its predictable premise. Wonder soon becomes about the boy’s entire family as they, too, experience that first year in school in their own way. There’s nothing truly earth-shattering here, and one of the mildest surprises of the film is how easy it goes on the inevitable scenes of cruelty and abuse by the boy’s schoolmates. The result is one of relief, as the film remains rather gentle and sympathetic in its approach. Jacob Tremblay continues to impress in the lead role, while other notables such as Owen Wilson, Mandy Patinkin and Julia Roberts take supporting roles in a youth-focused film. As a result, Wonder remains an enjoyable film … even for jaded curmudgeonly critics such as myself.

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