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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Movies
Wonder
    2018-January-19  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Starring: Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Jacob Tremblay, Izabela Vidovic, Mandy Patinkin, Daveed Diggs Director: Stephen Chbosky

SENTIMENTALITY overwhelms the storyline in “Wonder,” an emotional, sometimes sharply observant tearjerker that advocates for kindness in a world that’s often cruel. Although thoughtfully rendered, this unashamedly sappy drama about a 10-year-old boy with facial deformities eventually succumbs to the worst of its touchy-feely tendencies. One walks away from the experience admiring the characters more than the complicated circumstances in which they’ve been placed.

Jacob Tremblay from “Room” plays Auggie who, since he was born, has undergone dozens of surgeries to combat facial deformities due to a genetic mutation. His mother Isabel (Julia Roberts) strongly believes that, rather than continuing to be home-schooled, Auggie needs to enroll in the local fifth grade so that he can be exposed to the wider world. Auggie is an intelligent, sweet kid, but he’s fearful that his classmates will ridicule him because of his noticeable scars.

Hollywood has rarely dramatized the challenges confronting young people with facial deformities, the most obvious exception being 1985’s “Mask.” And from its opening reels, “Wonder” makes no secret of its affectionate, supportive tone, giving Auggie’s story a hint of whimsy as he narrates his harrowing adventures in middle school, where he’ll encounter bullies and be treated as a freakish curiosity. (As a means of escape, the lonely Auggie, a huge “Star Wars” fan, will imagine that Chewbacca is hanging out with him.)

But director and co-writer Stephen Chbosky (who wrote and directed the big-screen version of his novel “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”) isn’t interested in turning Auggie into a cheap disease-of-the-week gimmick, and instead utilize him as just one character in his film’s treatize on the private pain that many people carry around with them. The grand irony of “Wonder” is that, although Auggie’s insecurities are more apparent because of his appearance, he’s far from alone in feeling inadequate; the movie splits off into chapters so that we can learn more about the people around him, each character narrating his or her personal perspective.

Particularly moving is the story of his older sister Via (Izabela Vidovic), who has trained herself to be self-sufficient because she recognizes that her parents need to devote most of their time to Auggie.

As a result, however, Via feels invisible and unloved in her own family, never wanting to complain because she knows her brother has a more difficult life than she does.

Wearing makeup that intentionally limits his range of facial expressions, Tremblay occasionally oversells Auggie’s adorable, resilient personality, but Roberts hits all the right notes as a patient mother who put aside her professional aspirations for her child. At the same time, Isabel is no saint, and the Oscar-winning actress brings nuance to the role, revealing how the character’s wonderful rapport with Auggie has caused her to take Via for granted, leading her daughter to resent her. Owen Wilson is more of a peripheral figure as Auggie’s father Nate, but Vidovic perfectly captures the anxieties and sensitivities of a bright teenager trying to navigate friendships and first loves.

“Wonder” wrings tears at times — Sonia Braga is heartbreaking in a cameo as Via’s grandmother, the only person who really understands her — but the film gets progressively manipulative. The subject matter is inherently emotional, and the film eventually starts piling up increasingly sentimental sequences that feel contrived to elicit precise audience responses.

Because of the quality of the performances and the sincerity of the execution, “Wonder” doesn’t need to artificially stir our emotions, so it’s a shame that Chbosky lets the tone get away from him, badgering viewers with his points rather than simply letting the material speak for itself.

The movie is now being screened in Shenzhen. (SD-Agencies)

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