Wonder Showing at Hoyts, Wells St, Frankston

Adapted from R.J. Palacio’s 2012 novel, Wonder tells the story of Auggie Pullman (Jacob Tremblay), a brainy 10-year-old boy born with Treacher Collins syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects growth and development of the head, resulting in facial abnormalities. After years of home schooling him and knowing he can’t be shielded from the world for ever, his mother Isabel (Julia Roberts) comes to a decision with his father Nate (Owen Wilson) that Auggie will begin fifth grade at a regular school.


Despite principal Mr Tushman (an under-stated Mandy Patinkin) and homeroom teacher Mr Browne (Daveed Diggs) having his back, school was never going to be a walk in the park for a boy who’s had 27 surgeries since he was born.  Auggie hasn’t even made it through the end of his first day before his Star Wars Padawan braid has him dubbed ‘Barf Hideous’ by classmate Julian, who is “one of those kids who acts sweet in front of adults but not so nice in front of other kids”.

Ordinarily, these sorts of films are packed with so much saccharine they can be hard to stomach. However, director Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) manages to trace a year in the life of Auggie and those around him in a way that delivers an on-point message without ramming it down viewers’ throats.

Wonder offers a lesson in kindness for children and serves as a reminder for adults. As we reflect on the year that was 2017, it’s not like the world couldn’t use it.