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Rated 3 stars
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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Enjoyable Family Movie
by Diana Saenger

R.J. Palacio’s novel Wonder was published in 2013 without any expectations because the story was based on a small boy born with Treacher Collins Syndrome -- a facial disorder -- and the author had no idea how readers might react to it.  

Not to worry! This charming story is getting buzz everywhere. It’s an encouraging film with Jacob Tremblay portraying August “Auggie” Pullman, who is entering a new school for fifth grade. August was born with facial marks that kids at school bully him about. In fact, he wants to wear his space helmet at school but his mom Isabel (Julia Roberts) insists he take it off.

August slowly makes friends with Jack Will (Noah Jupe), his sister Via, and Miranda (Danielle Rose Russell). Having friends elevates August’s esteem at school. However, bad things still happen when August is alone and gets knocked around.

But after a few fits, mom and dad (Owen Wilson) mentor their son, who becomes willing to do his best at school and ignore the bullies. Auggie, a science geek, loves Star Wars, Minecraft and X-Box sports games. With the help of his family, he finally learns to stand on his own two feet, so it’s not too long until he has even more friends.

Jacob Tremblay does a great job as Auggie, a youngster finding hope and passing it on to others. A Canadian actor, Tremblay made his film debut for the live-action animated film The Smurfs 2 (2013). His breakout role came in Room (2015), a movie in which he gave an incredible performance.

(Released by Lionsgate and rated “PG” for thematic elements including bullying and some mild language)

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