Unlike many other movies centred on disability, Wonder isn’t a simple story of triumph over adversity.
Based on a book that topped the New York Times best-selling list for its category for two and a half years, Wonder tells the tale of Auggie Pullman, a boy with Treacher Collins syndrome, and his experience starting mainstream school. His disability makes his face deformed in such a way that his skin looks like it’s been melted. It stars Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson as the parents of Auggie, played by Jacob Tremblay.
Movie critic Mark Hadley, who has a son with a disability himself, described the film as “awesome”, and said it was refreshing in the way it didn’t follow a formula.
“The story’s not completely about him,” he said. “It was about all of the characters around Auggie as well. Around every 20 minutes, the film changes perspective—[telling] the story from his sister’s perspective, from his mum’s perspective, his dad’s, his best friend, the kid who’s struggling with him in school.
“So you see what disability is really about. Because when one person in the family has a disability we are embracing that disability in one way or another in our lives. You remember that disability is not something we all bear together.”
Mark recommends it for families, including children in primary school and older: “If your kid is old enough to understand what disability is, they’re old enough to watch this film,” he said.
While it’s not a faith-based film, it contains very inspiring values, and features the motto, “your deeds are your monuments”.
He added that it teaches viewers how best to approach challenging situations where disability is involved: “You can struggle with what to say in a situation but if you concentrate on being loving you can be the best possible person to somebody with a disability. “
Wonder is in cinemas now.