If my sister owed me a dollar for each time she said “aww” while watching Wonder, she would owe me something around $50. Though I joke about my sister’s repeat “aww-ing,” Wonder really is that type of movie. In each scene you either feel very sad, or very happy. It’s a back and forth between those two emotions.
Whenever a book is turned into a movie, there’s more to be desired than whether or not the movie is actually “good.” It also has to be exactly like the book, otherwise fans who watch the movie will rage. Wonder, to no surprise, is both a good movie and a faithful adaptation. (I’m beginning to think small budget book to movies for children are the way to go to get a satisfying adaptation.) I read the book a few years ago, so my memory of the book could be off, but as far as I could tell, everything that happened in the book also happened onscreen.
Wonder is about a child, August “Auggie” Pullman, who has craniofacial differences. The book (and movie) depict what happens during his first year of public school. The book has been an on-and-off New York Times Bestseller since it was published in 2012. The popularity is reflected in the movie’s box office performance; though not at a blockbuster level, it did do well for a movie of its size and budget.
Most astoundingly is just how well the book translates to the screen. Even the narrative structure changes stay, with the movie going from multiple points of view in a seamless, effective way. I am always ready to roll my eyes at movie voiceover narrations, but for this particular movie, the voiceover is a benefit.