A Geeky Dad’s Movie Guide to Wonder (2017)

in movie-review •  5 months ago

Amazing



You can't blend in when you were born to stand out. This movie stands out.


Two months ago, I could not escape that one word while writing my review of R.J. Palacio's book Wonder.

I ended that review with the following:

The movie version of Wonder, starring Owen Wilson and Julia Roberts, will be released on November 17, 2017. I hope your kids are able to read it before then. Although I don't think the movie will possibly be able to do this book justice, I'm taking my kids on opening weekend no matter what. I am going to hold out hope that the movie will be... Amazing!


Astonishingly, the creative team of Stephen Chbosky, Steve Conrad and Jack Thorne pulled off a miracle. They managed to translate most of the joy and power contained in Wonder's 315 pages to the big screen. Even more spectacular is the fact that they were able to do it without disappointing me.

I LOVED this book. It may even be my favorite non-scifi or fantasy book ever. For me, this movie had a huge responsibility. It had to avoid disrespecting it's source material. It owed that to the novel. Somehow, the film managed to not only respect the story, but enhance it.



Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

The vast majority of the time, I do not enjoy movies based on books that I have read. I typically find that these movies feel "hollow" and incomplete. It is nearly impossible for a movie to include all of the essential details contained in a book. For example, I can't stand the first Harry Potter movie. The filmmakers nearly completely ignore Harry and Neville's relationship. Harry's treatment of Neville is one of the most important factors in establishing Harry as a hero. The one exception to this rule is The Lord of the Rings trilogy... and that is only because Peter Jackson spent almost 12 hours over three movies telling the incredible story.

Yet, somehow, even though it was under 2 hours long, Wonder overflowed with fun and emotion while feeling totally complete... amazing!

Don't get me wrong. The movie is not perfect. My kids and I spent the entire ride home listing the events and details from the book that we wished were included in the movie. There were many.

One very telling sign of a quality movie is that your only complaints are that you wanted more of it.

Luckily, there happens to be a novel to give you more! I see this film as a companion to the book Wonder. Although you can truly enjoy each separately, I think the ultimate experience is to consume them together.



The movie manages to include enough detail to stay true to the story of the book. Although not every character is fleshed out as well as they are in the book, do not fear. Auggie, his parents and his sister are all done justice. Even though the same can not be said about all of the friends of the family, there is enough detail to make the audience understand these characters' importance. More importantly, the audience has enough information to allow them to like love these people.

I was very pleasantly surprised that the movie actually managed to improve on the book in some areas. In addition to the mother having a little added to her story, Auggie's imagination plays a major role. The writers and director took advantage of the visual medium and added some very clever, funny, and touching fantasy scenes. Star Wars fans will be especially pleased with some of these additions.

Hands down, my favorite upgrade was to Auggie's sister Via (played sensationally by Isabel Vidovic). In the book, Via was a great character... but she was not my favorite. After the scene portraying what Via does for her little brother on Halloween, she became one of my favorite characters of all time. If the writers' goal was to show the epitome of compassion, love, selflessness, and friendship, they should pat themselves on the back for a job well done. I will never forget that 120 seconds of movie magic. It was... amazing!



Halloween wasn't the only day Via was her little brother's hero. She was there for him every day. I dare you to watch this scene without getting choked up. I double dog dare you to watch it and not contemplate how you could be a better sibling or friend. I know I did. I hope my children did as well. Sometimes all it takes is a whisper... amazing!

Aside from a few of Auggie's classmates, the acting is incredible. Owen Wilson plays the funny yet loving dad perfectly. Normally, I can't stand Julia Roberts. In fact, when I saw she was in this movie, my heart sank. I am so happy that I was wrong. I actually liked her in this role and can not think of someone I would have rather had playing it. Isabel Vidovic's portrayal of Via propelled this character into my movie Hall of Fame. Jacob Tremblay as Auggie is simply wonderful. The movie was going to be made or broken on the strength of Auggie. Thank you young Mr. Tremblay for playing him as funny, strong, smart, and caring as he deserved. It was ... amazing!

When it comes to kids movies, emotion can be a mine field. Too much and parents need to deal with a blubbering mess all the way home. Not enough and the kids are bored and learn nothing from the film. But it is not enough to have the right amount of emotion. It takes true talent to pull off the amount of emotion required in this film. The true art is to stir a child's emotions... and then relieve them with some humor as fast as possible. That second piece is essential (I'm talking to you The Good Dinosaur which left my daughter a blubbering mess for days). Wonder has the perfect balance of emotion and humor. Notice I am writing "emotion" not "sadness". This is NOT a sad movie. It is a beautiful movie. It made my daughter cry "happy tears" (and by "daughter" I mean me). She and I were either near tears or in tears for almost the entire 113 minutes of runtime. Yet, we were also smiling for almost nearly as long. How can a movie make you cry and smile at the same time? You guessed it. It was... amazing!



Not sure whether to choose to laugh or to cry? You don't have to. Do both. There is only one choice required by this story... choose kind.


Every time the audience (it wasn't just me) was about to completely loose it, something funny happened to break the tension. Although I would not call Wonder a comedy, there are enough jokes and happy scenes to make viewing it an incredibly pleasant experience.

While I strongly recommend reading the book before seeing the movie, it is not essential. However, consuming this story in some form is essential. If you have kids or are a kid, you must see or read this story.

I would imagine that those who have not read the book first will still definitely enjoy the movie. It is a complete story that hits on the most important elements of the book and is incredibly uplifting and entertaining. However, if you truly enjoy the film, please know there is so much more wonder contained in the novel. You will love reliving the highlights of the movie while learning more about it's wonderful characters.



I have always found it odd to clap at the end of a movie. No one involved is there to hear it. However, as the credits rolled and my son and daughter began to applaud, it felt odd not to join them. So I did. Amazing!

TL;DR : See the movie Wonder right now. My wife, 12 year old son, 10 year old daughter, and I think it is one of the best movies we have ever seen.


Geeky Dad's Movie Guide

Number of times I fell asleep: 0
Number of eye rolls: 0
Number of face palms: 1 (But not the bad kind. Some of the fantasy scenes are so amazing!)
Number of times my kid asked to go to the bathroom or get food out of sheer boredom: 0
Number of times I checked steemit: 0
Number of times I said "That's ridiculous": 0
Did my kids like it: The LOVED it!
Would I see it without my kids: Yes!
Full price/Matinee/Rental/Free/Not worth the time: Full Price
Number of times I thought "That's amazing!": Dang it. Where is the infinity key?

**Please note, the overuse of the word "emotion" was intentional.

Images 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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I would love to see you get in on my contest this week...it's perfect for your geek fandom!
And... Wonder is fantastic!

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Oh man. Let me check it out. I dig your blog man so I bet I will enjoy.

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Oh yeah. That is going to be great! I want to see a stranger things one.

I haven't watched that movie yet, I added it to my watchlist , I really loved your writing, didnt get bored at all. I just wrote my 2nd post on curators community, plz have a look there if your intrested.

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Thank you. I know sometimes I write way too much... but I just couldn't stop myself. I loved this movie.

Now I am convinced to see the movie. You make a powerful argument to bot both read and then see Wonder. It is the same for me, once I have read a book the movie has a difficult time living up to its name sake. Thank you for your review.

Thank you for clearing up a little mystery for me. The ad for Wonder has been on our television for a little while and I did wonder what it was all about - sit-com? movie? Now I know, it's a book and a film and it looks like I have to catch BOTH on your recommendation!

Thank you!

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I think you will enjoy both. The book is a really easy read. I happen to get so consumed when I read that I read rather slowly and I still finished it in a day.

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I'll really have to get it now! Thank you :)

Every person I talk to who has seen this movie highly recommends it. Ok, I can take a strong hint. Thanks for another stellar movie review.

This sounds like a great story and gift. What is the suggested age range?

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Good question. 8 to 108

Perhaps even as young as 6 if they don't need cartoon animals in order to be entertained.

It is true that movies cannot exactly mirror all essential sentiment in books where the movies are gotten from.

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Keep it up!
All the best!

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I watched a documentary recently about the disease and a young boy's life was documented from birth to teenage years. I'm not sure if the book is about him or not, I tried to find out but couldn't get the information.

The young actor who plays a boy with this disease looks like the boy in the documentary, so maybe.

An incredible story of courage, innocence, change, humanity, awe, inspiration....I will definitely see this movie.

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Was it on 20/20?

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Might have been.....probably, it was fairly recent and I think the author of the book was interviewed as well. Did you see it too?

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I did not see it. My mother in law was talking about it at Thanksgiving. She saw it a few days before.

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If you can find it repeated somewhere you might find it interesting to compare to the book and movie you just saw. I fell in love with the boy and his incredible resilience and his parent's dedication, honesty and unconditional love for him.

As I am writing this I am watching Happy Death Day. I will back to tell you how bad it is soon.

Great review. Saw the trailer but wasn't sure about waiting until I had read the book. Now I think I will need to do both!

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I think you will enjoy. Please report back if you read or watch.

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I will.

How truly unusual to see a film based on a book that does not disappoint!

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I was very nervous. This book deserved to be an excellent movie.

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I could fully understand why you would be nervous.

Sounds like my kind of story. I will read the book first. Thank you for your review of the movie, it was as if I am reading parts of the book!

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It's a quick read. I am sure you won't be disappointed.

Thanks for the review, now I have both a new movie to see and a new book to read. 😀

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I think you will be very pleased with both!

Thanks for a guide.
It's truly a wonder that I went to go see Wonder, considering that I probably wouldn't watch a movie of its speed very often. However, thanks to my girlfriend Maria, I had the chance to see it during its opening weekend, and I'm happy that I did. Great guide i must again.

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That is awesome! Tell Maria she has great taste in movies... and from your positive reaction, in boyfriends as well. ;)

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:) will do. Have a great one

I have always found it odd to clap at the end of a movie. No one involved is there to hear it. However, as the credits rolled and my son and daughter began to applaud, it felt odd not to join them. So I did. Amazing!

Haha... its good to know wonder broke that . I was hoping you were going to just smile and watch the kids. Lol... didnt expect you'd join too.

Not read or seen the movie, now I feel like doing so. Would check them up too and for my little brother.

Thank you for taking out time to share your satisfaction about the movie wonder

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Oh it would be a perfect movie to see with a little brother or sister! I hope you go.

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It would be amazing to really see the movie. I now long for it.

It sounds so interesting I'll watch this movie soon when my all papers will over and I have got time ..:)

I wanted to go see Wonder last night but I ended up letting my friend pick the movie, and she chose Disney's new movie, Coco, which was in RealD 3D. It was the best $20 nap that I've taken in quite a while. Thanks for the review @hanshotfirst! Thanks to you Wonder is still on my list of movies to watch.

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My kids have absolutely no interest in Coco. I think that is a sign right there it won't be for me. Sorry you struck out. I assure you, Wonder will be better.

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Your kids have impeccable taste, and it seems like a wise idea to follow their lead. With that being said, I will follow their lead as well. The best part of Coco was the nap and getting to spend time with my friend. With that being said, Wonder is on my to-do list for the day.

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Please report back and let me know if you like it.

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I saw Wonder yesterday...

I'm happy to report that not only did I like it, I actually loved it! I love it so much that I'm considering taking a friend today to see it.

I regard myself as an emotional rock. However, I was tested multiple times during the movie, and I'm happy to say that the movie won.

It's such a great movie and I can honestly say for me that every scene in the movie is my favorite scene. I kinda wanna pick up the novel and read it, and I might just do that today.

Thanks for sharing your review of Wonder. If it wasn't for it, I would have missed out on it, which would have been very unfortunate for me because Wonder is the most uplifting movie I've seen in quite some time.

If you're considering seeing Wonder, go see it! Wonder deserves a standing ovation and by the end of the movie, you'd agree too.

Can't thank you enough for the review...Thank you!

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My pleasure! I am so happy you enjoyed it. The book is a quick read. It is meant for kids but the characters are awesome!

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Hard to believe that the story is meant for kids but I can see how or why it is.

I think that adults would enjoy the movie and story as well, and even take away something from it. I know I have, and I'm definitely an adult.

This the awesome and wonderful..I like this story sound

Sunnguh luarbiasa hebat. Posting yang sangat bagus. Lanjutkan.

This sounds great :)

I think this one is quite good

Looks like a beautiful piace
great photography looks so cool :)

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Thanks for such a lovely review. I am going to try and see this film over the Christmas holidays.

A very intriguing story keep it up my friend look forward to your next post you have my up vote & resteem @ mannyfig1956

Great. Thanks!

good post

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but rightnow i think its not exist on earth .
Its just story not reality thing

I'm going to have to read this and see the movie

Such a great post. I really really love the children's smile

interesting this one looks

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Added to watch list

Wow it started with a great message born to stand out❣️

I agree with you on that point a movie can not show or express all the intricate details written in a book and yeah I also don't enjoy every movie derived from a book or early written story.

That was a very cool movie guide by a geeky dad. 😊 👍

Take a look at my recent funny post 😀


https://steemit.com/funny/@asteemian/baby-to-be-born

i really enjoyed this story

Wow ! Beautiful post. I liked @hanshotfirst

Thanks for the review. Despite the 'spoilers' I will watch this movie, its worth it.

As someone who did not read the book first, you are correct. I did enjoy the movie. It was worthwhile.

Awesome post friend.
I like your all content because your content type and quality is so good.
best of luck go ahead friend.

wonderful post. i mean, your a very very good writer.love to read your post and loving to your blog. i upvoted your post,please you upvotr my last post.thanks.

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