Based on the acclaimed novel by RJ Palacio, Wonder is the story of 10-year-old Auggie (Tremblay), who has a serious facial disfigurement and has been home-schooled by his mother (Roberts). Feeling safest when he is wearing an astronaut’s helmet to hide himself from prying eyes, Auggie is nonetheless determined to attend an ordinary school with the support of his mum, dad (Wilson) and older sister (Izabela Vidovic).
While his parents are incredibly cool and supportive, their devoted care has naturally meant that sister Via has sometimes been neglected, and she faces her own difficult transition to high school unnoticed by the rest of the family.
A warm, often funny movie about so much more than Auggie’s facial difference, Wonder celebrates family and friendship as well as featuring all the challenges he has to face. Auggie deals with being exposed for the first time, and learns about friendship and bullies in how the other school kids treat him (some of them generous, some heart-breakingly cruel).
Throughout, director Stephen Chbosky and his actors rarely let the narrative become too sugary or overly sentimental, and the superb performances of Roberts, Tremblay and Vidovic are moving but never manipulative or schmaltzy.
Wonder skilfully gets across the message of being kind to those around us, of choosing to be kind, in a lovely, heart-warming way. A movie that all kids should see – and they’ll love it.
Is Wonder suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
The movie is a PG certificate and most suitable for children over the age of 8.
There is some mild swearing in the movie.
Parents/carers should note that the film includes scenes of bullying that children may find upsetting. Also, Auggie is shown to be upset by the way he is being treated at school but the movie does end on a happy note.
One character dies in the movie, which may upset children.
There are a few altercations between the children, including one on a school trip, but no one is shown to be more than slightly harmed.
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