Wonder: A Truly Beautiful and Eye-Opening Movie

by Maria Reyes Pacheco, Opinion Editor

When given the choice between being right and being kind, always choose kind” is a quote the character Auggie in the movie Wonder must consider. As I watched the movie, I found myself also pondering this idea.
Last month, Wonder, a movie based on R.J. Palacio’s book of the same title, was released in theaters all around the world. It was a wonderfully portrayed story that caused tears and a lasting impression on viewers.
The plot revolves around a boy, Auggie, who is faced with the challenges of middle school. As Auggie says, he isn’t an ordinary boy. Auggie is born with a facial deformity, and his life revolves around hospitals, surgeries, and after all of that, just home. But as fifth grade approaches, Auggie’s parents believe he is ready for middle school.
The direction of the movie was carefully crafted to the book. In the book, different parts are told by different people. This is a vital part of the story because it offers insight from many of the characters. The film did this in the same way by including the replays of events from each perspective. It’s difficult to do this without boring the audience, but the movie did it in a way that allowed each perspective to act as a puzzle piece forming the entire movie.
The book was the main script and it was perfect. However, it’s all up to the actors to make a book come to life. In Wonder, all the actors did a wonderful job. Julia Roberts was the perfect mother. In one scene in particular, she is talking to Auggie after his first rough day, and she is telling him how he isn’t ugly and how our bodies are just pictures of what we have been through and not where we are going. The way she says this really makes you understand how it must feel to be Auggie’s mom, helping you understand parents in general.
The child actors also deserved a standing ovation. Jacob Tremblay played Auggie, doing a wonderful job making this movie both real and comical. He gave that light and innocent tone which brings us into Auggie’s childhood.
Auggies sister, Via, is played by Izabela Vidovic who is known for her roles in Homefront and The Fosters. She portrayed Auggie’s sister as a loving person who was also dealing with her own problems. Vidovic’s character shows how, just as Auggie was growing up, so was Via. Via struggles with finding her place in a home that is centered around the “sun”, Auggie. She also shows what a sibling does by acting as Auggie’s guide throughout the book and movie.
All of the characters in the book portrayed a message, as did the film. In the book Auggie said, “I wish everyday could be Halloween. We could all wear masks all the time. Then we could walk around and get to know each other before we got to see what we looked like under the masks.” In the movie when it’s Halloween everyone’s high-fiving Auggie for his costume and he feels great. This made me think of how in a way we are all Auggie. We all have insecurities and deformities and many of us are judged by them. It also reminded me of how very often we judge others on the insecurities we don’t know of. Wonder left everyone with the thought that we should never judge a book by its cover.
This message not only rings true through Auggie, but through a lot of the characters.

(To read the rest of the story, go pick up a Hawkeye near the main office or the media center!)