Wonder centres around a young lad called August, better known as Auggie (Jacob Tremblay, who was superb in 2016’s Room), with a facial deformity that results in bullies making fun of him, yet he tries not to let it get him down too much, although he still wears an astronaut helmet so no-one can see him.
There’s also some early observations such as learning how people are from their shoes, and it’s really sweet as he corrects another kid on saying ‘supposably’ instead of ‘supposedly’, before we move onto the meat of the film as we see his first day, then parts of the same day as his sister, Via (Izabela Vidovic) – short for Olivia, sees it, and well as a couple of other characters, although it slows down a bit when it follows those we don’t know so well. That said, it’s interesting looking at things from all the characters’ angles, and it’d be better if we could see everything from all peoples’ sides in life, itself.
We’re also shown how other kids at school can be complete bar-stewards, especially so-called best friends, which is really harsh at that age because there’s no escape from these people. Alas, while it deals with important school topics like bullying, as we get into the second half, it often deals with these issues in a very pedestrian way, as well as being rather sickly sweet when it comes to resolving everything, which all feels insulting to the viewer, so after a strong start, it turns into a Channel 5 afternoon TV movie.
That said, that ‘Chewbacca’, though… (even if it’s not Peter Mayhew in the costume)
Oh, and it does have bigger names with Owen Wilson and Julia Roberts in the parental roles, but it’s Tremblay’s film and he is very good in it, despite the slushiness.
The film is presented in the original theatrical ratio of 2.35:1 and in 1080p high definition, and there’s no issues with the picture whatsoever. It looks stunning as you’d expect for a modern movie since it was shot digitally and mostly feature bright daytime scenes.. For the record, I’m watching on a Panasonic 50″ Plasma TV, connected to a PS4.
The audio is in Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for English, and Dolby Digital 5.1 for other languages, but it’s mostly ambience and dialogue so while I have a 5.1 setup, I can’t see what else the other 2 will bring.
The extras are as follows and there’s some good ones here for fans of the film:
- Summer of Fun (57:44): A five-part documentary that’s better-chaptered than the film, with 9 over 58 minutes, beginning with novelist RJ Palacio telling how she knew a child in her school like Auggie, and then how the director takes things. There’s praise from many other cast and crew members about it, too. Mixing clips with chat from everyone, it’s in-depth, but only worth a full watch if you loved the movie and need to know the thoughts from Palacio about every last scene.
- A Child’s Sense of Wonder (13:23): A featurette which concentrates on the children in the film
- What a Wonderful World (12:34): And another, this time focusing on set design and the world inhabited by Auggie and co.
- Music Video (3:26): Brand New Eyes by Bea Miller, which serves as the main theme.
- Theatrical Trailers (3:14): Two of them. A long one, then a short one.
- Soundtrack featurette (3:57): Not a collection of songs, but how they put the original score together.
- Audio descriptive track: Does exactly what it says on the tin.
- Audio commentary: with writer/director Stephen Chbosky and novelist RJ Palacio.
The menu is simply a static shot of the main cast members with
two leads with light sort-of shimmering over them, while a small piece of Elvis Costello‘s theme, You Shouldn’t Look At Me That Way. There are subtitles in English and a bog-standard 12 chapters. I prefer one every 5 minutes, which would equate to 21.
Running time: 114 minutes
Released: March 26th 2018
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: Dolby TrueHD 7.1, Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0 (optimised for late night listening)
Languages: English (Dolby TrueHD 7.1), DD5.1: Spanish, French; DD2.0: English (optimised for late night listening)
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Stephen Chbosky
Producers: David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman
Screenplay: Stephen Chbosky, Steven Conrad and Jack Thorne (based on the novel by RJ Palacio)
Music: Marcelo Zarvos
Auggie: Jacob Tremblay
Via: Izabela Vidovic
Nate: Owen Wilson
Isabel: Julia Roberts
Mr. Tushman: Mandy Patinkin
Jack Will: Noah Jupe
Julian: Bryce Gheisar
Charlotte: Elle McKinnon
Mr. Browne: Daveed Diggs
Amos: Ty Consiglio
Miles: Kyle Breitkopf
Henry: James A Hughes
Miranda: Danielle Rose Russell
Ella: Erika McKitrick
Justin: Nadji Jeter
Summer: Millie Davis
Ms. Petosa: Ali Liebert
Chewbacca: Michael Alan Healy
Darth Sidious: J Douglas Stewart
Grans: Sonia Braga
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.