Last week I went to watch the loveliest new movie on the big screen as part of Ster-Kinekor’s Girls Getaway (Sadly that wasn’t worth blogging about!! A complete let down!) BUT the good news is that WONDER totally is!!
This sweet family-friendly movie is about Auggie Pullman, a brave 10-year-old boy who has to face life attending middle school for the first time and deal with the reactions of his peers to his genetic facial deformity.
Based on the New York Times bestseller by R.J. Palacio, the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman is one of an unlikely hero that ultimately changes the world around him for the better, as his family, his new classmates, and the larger community discover extra measures of compassion, kindness and acceptance!
Auggie Pullman (played by the incredibly talented Jacob Tremblay) is a young boy with a genetic facial difference that is venturing into the outside world for the first time after being home-schooled by his mom for years. Twenty-plus surgeries in his short life have left him able to hear, see, and speak like other kids, but he definitely doesn’t look like them! And since he can’t wear his beloved astronaut helmet all day at school, he has to face them all in person. Bravely he tackles 5th grade where he finds himself surrounded by both cruel bullies and good friends. His journey is supported by his parents (played beautifully by Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson), older sister and inspiring teachers.
Whether they’ve read the book or not, kids are sure to appreciate Wonder‘s take on how hard it can be to fit in and feel good about yourself, no matter what you look like. The movie is filled with excellent messages for kids of all ages (but most esp tweens) such as kindness, friendship, empathy and perseverance.
The movie has a real heart and is filled with positive messages about appreciating everyone for who they are (rather than what they look like).
I went to see the movie with my pregnant sister and I will be the first to admit that I was the one that cried from beginning to end (as quietly as I could obviously!!) Be warned this is an emotional family drama so be sure to pack the tissues!!
I sat through the film thinking the whole time how my own 5th grader would have benefited from watching the film and what good conversations the movie’s themes would bring up. When I chatted about it the next day it turns out he had been read the book by the librarian at school and is actually super keen to watch the film. Our whole family then watched the trailer together… My son (aged 11) is still amped to watch it with me soon, however my daughter (aged 7) found the little boy’s face a bit frightening even though it was a short trailer. As she is my more sensitive soul, I think I’ll delay watching it with her for the moment.
The film is rated PG for thematic elements including bullying, and some mild language. There are some fighting scenes among young teens and a few sad moments involving a loss. Language includes name-calling with some insulting words used. Teens kiss, and adults flirt and there is a reference to drinking & passing out with one of the adults in the movie. It is advisable to use your own discretion on the age restriction based on your own kids’ emotional maturity.
I shared the trailer to the movie a few weeks’ back on my Facebook page but if you haven’t yet seen it watch it here…
Images: Wonder Movie