The following article originally appeared in Juniata High School's newspaper The Arrowhead.
By: Cecelia Moreno
Based on the 2012 novel by R.J. Palacio, Wonder is a movie about a boy living with a facial deformity. In the beginning of the movie, it is told from the perspective of Auggie Pullman. It shows you he’s a 10 year old boy who has a loving family, adorable dog and an obsession with astronauts. The movie follows his entire fifth-grade year from the beginning to the end. It appears that he is a normal kid despite his looks and strives to be seen as one. Although, his medical condition often prevents that. It also shows you that he’s been home-schooled his whole life and his parents decide to enroll him at a private school.He’s used to being stared at and noticed for the way he looks but as he starts his journey at Beecher Prep Middle School, with hopes of a fresh start, he's antagonized for his appearance. Targeted by the most popular kid,Julian and his group, Auggie's first experiences are frustrating, although, his desperation to be normal are raised as classmates, Jack and Summer befriend and accept him. Julian and his friends continually torment Auggie and become vicious but with his two new friends, Auggie looks past the rude taunts and gestures. Throughout the school year he learns to love and accept himself for. He develops a sense of confidence and through a series of events, others start to embrace him as well.
The movie is told in another perspective, Auggie's sister, Olivia or "Via" for short. At one point, she talks about some of the hardships of being Auggie's sister and some of her troubles at school are shown. Via confesses she feels jealous at times of all of the attention Auggie receives. Although, she feels guilty for feeling this way. She and her best friend Amanda drift apart and she's feeling alone. That is, until Via joins the drama club at school and gets herself a boyfriend whose name is Justin. Justin is a kind and accepting guy who appreciates Auggie and while he is, at first is taken aback by Auggie's looks, soon comes to know and like him very much.
A part in the movie is also shown from Miranda, Via's ex-best friend's view. It shows some of her struggles, such as her parents divorce and how lonely she feels being away from Via and the Pullmans who were like her other family. Miranda and Auggie were like siblings, they were very close and connected well. Miranda was the one who got Auggie his astronaut helmet which he adores. So, when the two friends become distant, Auggie and Miranda are sad to be away from each other. Though, by the end of the movie it seems that Miranda is slowly growing closer to the Pullmans once again.
This movie is mostly about a young boy learning to accept himself and learn how to speak up for himself and others. It shows him becoming brave yet kind as well. It's full of passion and courage. It's an inspiring and powerful story that reminds you we are much more than what is on the surface. It gives a positive message and reminder showing you that in order to thrive, we as human beings must love and accept everyone despite our differences. It shows you the best and worst of human nature. It's a movie that will leave you in breathless wonder and give you hope in humanity.