Saturday, 9 December 2017
Starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Jacob Tremblay, Mandy Patinkin and Daveed Diggs. Written by Jack Thorne, Steve Conrad an Stephen Chbosky. Based on the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Directed by Stephen Chbosky. Budget $20 million. Running time 113 minutes long.
Was this wonderful or did my mind wander and make me wonder why I'd gone?
Welcome to The Mask 2.0, or Wonder as they'll have you believe. The not true story of a boy called Auggy (cos being born with a terrible genetic facial deformanity isn't enough of a problem so you need a stupid name to go with it) played by the star of the film Room (Jacob Tremblay). The film follows home-schooled, midly disfigured Auggy as he embarks on his first year of school and how he adapts to this terrifying new world filled with 1st World People's offspring and their problems, most of which seem to consist of how to fill their vast houses and huge people carriers with more tat.
The film shows the effects of Auggy on those closest to him in little chapters each named after the character and it's all very sweet and charming. Managing never to be too button pushing or over sentimental, a thin line it tight-ropes along, only occasionally stumbling but never falling off, until the applause filled finale that sees the whole school riser up and hail Auggy as Wonderful, but not just cos of his, you know, 'face' but because he's 'special', and not in that 'special' way that we tend to say when talking about kids who might be less than, 'special'.
Anyway, this isn't a terrible film, it's very sweet, and good natured and it has a lovely happy ending, but what more do you expect?
Not a horrible experience, but not horribly good either. No real need to see this, although it's always lovely to see Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson. That said, if anyone can tell me what the fuck he does for a job I'll be impressed. I have no idea what he does or the effects of Auggy on his life. He's just there to offer the odd piece of fatherly advice before he fucks off to do his job. I like to think he's a government sponsored assassin and when he's not being a loving father he's butchering enemies of the state in the most agonising ways possible.
No one in this film is horrible, not even the bully, who's just a victim himself of unwanted pressure. Looks nice, it's mildly entertaining and Jacob is a joy to watch, but that's it really.