Wednesday, November 16, 2022

The Wonder (2022)

Streaming Service: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: The Wonder (2022)
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Length: 1h 48min
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Element Pictures, Element, Fís Éireann / Screen Ireland, House Productions, LSG Productions, Netflix
Director: Sebastián Lelio
Writers: Emma Donoghue, Sebastián Lelio, Alice Birch
Actors: Florence Pugh, Ciarán Hinds, Toby Jones, Abigail Coburn, Brían F. O'Byrne, Carla Hurley O'Dwyer, Darcey Campion, David Wilmot, Dermot Crowley, Elaine Cassidy, Josie Walker, Juliette Hurley O'Dwyer, Kíla Lord Cassidy, Niamh Algar, Ruth Bradley, Tom Burke
IMDb Blurb: A tale of two strangers who transform each other's lives, a psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil.

Cat’s Point of View:
Let me tell you, it pained me that The Wonder didn’t make it onto my Top 20 Movies to Look Out for this month. It was by only the narrowest of margins, however. When I watched the trailer, I was captivated by the fact that it appeared to be a period piece set, and filmed, in Ireland. Oh how I do love the lilt of an Irish accent. When I got into the actual movie, I found they were actually speaking Gaelic occasionally. I was quite giddy. I digress…
I probably should mention, before I continue further, that I have not read the novel upon which this movie was based. Alas, for that reason I am unable to advise how true this screen adaptation was to the source material. Considering that it appears that the book’s author seems to have been involved in writing the screenplay, It would probably be safe to say it’s probably a fair version.

Another factor that drew me to The Wonder was the cast. With Florence Pugh (Outlaw King, Midsommar, Don't Worry Darling) as the lead and the likes of Toby Jones (Atomic Blonde, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, A Boy Called Christmas) and Ciarán Hinds (Woman Walks Ahead, The Terror, Belfast) also involved, I felt that this would be a quality production, at the very least.
I wasn’t disappointed.
The opening and closing of the film were odd, and seemed out of place with somewhat of an intentional 4th-wall break of sorts. Once I got past that slight oddity and experienced the story in the middle, everything sorted itself out.

While The Wonder bears the genre label of ‘thriller,’ I think it should be pointed out that it is not an action-packed thrill-ride. This narrative is rather a slow burn and full of suspense as the mystery unfolds on-screen. I’m not sure that I agree with the ‘psychological thriller’ moniker, either. Either way, I was fully invested in the plight of the young girl being observed for lack of eating – and the nurse tasked to keep watch over her.
When everything came to a head at the film’s climax, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor a bit. I didn’t see the twist coming – and yet, I did catch a bit of the foreshadowing. I just didn’t connect the dots until I needed to facepalm.
As the weather starts to turn ever colder, The Wonder is a great dramatic movie to enjoy snuggled up with blankets and a hot beverage. It was a great movie on the part of Netflix releasing it in November. If you have a subscription, The Wonder is absolutely worth a shot if you enjoy period dramas. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 85%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 74%
Metascore – 70%
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score –7.1/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3.5/5
Movie Trailer:

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