I’m a sucker for a feel-good movie.
No matter what’s happening in the world, I like to leave the cinema feeling like we’re all in this together and things are going to be OK.
After watching Wonder I wanted to hug random strangers in the street and compliment them on their choice of shoes. It’s just that good.
It’s the kind of movie that will pull at your heartstrings and ultimately make you feel a whole lot better about the human race.
And it’s the kind of film that will just make you want to be a kinder, more generous person.
Wonder is based on the wildly popular book of the same name written by R.J. Palacio.
It tells the story of August "Auggie" Pullman, a fifth grade student living in Manhattan with his mum Isabel (Julia Roberts), his dad Nate (Owen Wilson), and his big sister Olivia (Izabela Vidovic).
In many ways Auggie, played by Room's Jacob Tremblay, is your average fifth grader. He likes playing with his dog, hanging out with his big sister, and he's obsessed with all things science and space-related.
But there's one thing that makes Auggie different to all the other kids his age. Auggie was born with facial differences that, up until now, have prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Instead he’s been home-schooled by his mum, Isabel.
He doesn't look like the other kids his age and he's had to endure countless surgeries over his short life. He's never had a real friend, he's never had a play date or a sleepover, and he's never been on a class trip.
But that's all about to change.
At the start of the movie, Isabel decides Auggie is ready to attend school. This is a big move for the Pullman family, and the film follows Auggie, Isabel, Nate, and Olivia, as they adjust to their new normal.
We see - and feel - the hesitation and excitement of his parents sending their child out into a new world. And we also witness how this affects the often-overlooked Olivia, who is dealing with her own growing pains at the same time.
Julia Roberts' performance as Auggie's mum is spot-on here. She's both nervous and relieved to finally let her son go out on his own. When Auggie makes his first friend, you feel her quietly brimming with pride and emotion.