ARE YOU READY TO MEET AUGGIE PULLMAN?
After being homeschooled for years because of a rare condition that has deformed his face, fifth-grader ”Auggie” Pullman (Jacob Tremblay) goes to school in a regular class for the first time. On paper, this may look like another tearjerker, a predictable story about a bullied kid. But in the hands of Perks of Being a Wallflower director Stephen Chbosky this moving tale remains true to its well-drawn characters. The perspective changes between several of them and we get to know not just Auggie but his older sister, parents and other people near him in ways that open up the story. The movie refuses to fall victim to a clear formula; genuinely heartwarming, with strong performances.
2017-U.S. 113 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman. Directed by Stephen Chbosky. Screenplay: Stephen Chbosky, Steve Conrad, Jack Thorne. Novel: R.J. Palacio. Cast: Julia Roberts (Isabel Pullman), Owen Wilson (Nate Pullman), Jacob Tremblay (August ”Auggie” Pullman), Izabela Vidovic, Noah Jupe, Bryce Gheisar… Mandy Patinkin, Sonia Braga.
Trivia: Paul King was allegedly first considered for directing duties.
Last word: “As co-writer and director, I was excited to check my ego at the door, because [Conrad, Thorne and I] were all there to serve the book. Even though we never wrote together, we all contributed to the screenplay in significant ways, so there was plenty of credit and good will to go around. And I loved what Jack and Steve did. I think it’s important to acknowledge when something is great and to build upon it, rather than rewrite something just to rewrite it. Even though ‘Wonder’ is a family film about children, it’s told like ‘Rashomon’, with multiple points of view. So having multiple screenwriters, served the book in different ways.” (Chbosky, Script Magazine)