Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Wonder (PG)

When I mentioned to the editor of Unsalted Popcorn that I was going to see Wonder because of Kermode's review, he immediately reminded me that Kermode had also raved about Berberian Sound Studio.

He also seized on the fact that it would be one less film he would have to cover and emotionally blackmailed me into reviewing it (a long story which I won't go into but for which he will pay). (wanna bet? - Ed)

Kermode had issued a tissue warning which didn't bode well for an emotional wreck who cries at the peeling of a spring onion, however it sounded more than a 'Love Story' exploitative exercise in search of easy sponduliks.

Firstly, kudos to the casting director who appears to have been briefed to ensure familial similarity in places e.g. Sonia Braga as Julia Roberts mum ( Roberts giving a wonderful performance btw) which I must warn the editor may take him a while to get over.

The casting of Owen Wilson had put me off until Kermode weighed in and I have to say his performance is sympathetic and light-hearted and - going back to the casting director - a clever choice for he has a lived-in face (that nose!) but is charismatic enough to be believable as Ms Roberts' spouse.

My reasoning behind this is the prosthetic work which transforms the 11-year-old wonder that is Jacob Tremblay. 

He won plaudits and awards for his role as Jack Newsome in Room as an eight-year-old (don't you just hate these talented little buggers). 

The prosthetics, which took 90 minutes a day to transform Jacob into the lad with Treacher Collins Syndrome, are skilfully applied to be at once believable and yet show a familial resemblance. His performance remarkable.

The film itself could have so easily taken the 'make-'em cry route (I could actually have done without the ending) but manages to keep the right-side of schmaltz. 

Strong supporting cast and a script depth that I would not have suspected (had it not been for the aforementioned portable toilet's spoiler).

One nice touch for a person with impeccable music taste (me obvs) was to hear Eels on the soundtrack (guess which track?) and also the wonderful Natalie Merchant whose song  Wonder from her 1995 album Tigerlilly was the inspiration for the book of the same name by R. J. Palacio.

Overall, though, I would wait for Sky to broadcast as I'm not sure it gains anything from being on the big screen - but then I'm also a skinflint. 

Just make sure you have enough tissues about your person.


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