Based on the R.J. Palacio novel of the same name, “Wonder” follows a year in the life of August Pullman (Jacob Tremblay), Auggie, for short. He was born with a genetic abnormality that has required him to undergo surgeries and medical treatments since his earliest days.
Director Stephen Chbosky has managed to take a story that could have been painfully mawkish and made it genuinely moving in (mostly) understated ways. The makeup work here is solid and believable, revealing Auggie’s sad eyes behind downturned facial lines and nubs of skin for ears. He’s a prepubescent Rocky Dennis. The script, co-written by Chbosky, Steve Conrad, and Jack Thorne, is wise to establish quickly that Auggie is a regular kid in every other way. He loves “Star Wars” and Minecraft. He has an aptitude for science, a sly sense of humor, and an active imagination that helps him navigate uncomfortable situations. (“Wonder” occasionally dabbles in magical realism, but in ways that are more amusing than distracting.)
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