Dove Families, it has been our practice to eliminate movies that use the name of our Lord in vain. In 2017, we have done studies to seek the best course, particularly in situations like this. When a movie like Wonder or Hidden Figures are made without our same sensitivities, but with so many other important positive messages, we struggle with holding back our encouragement to see it and talk about it’s goodness. In today’s world, we need to encourage positive stories! We’d love to hear from you. We’d like to tell the filmmakers to stop using God and Jesus so carelessly, but at the same time, we know that we cannot expect all others to have this understanding and concern that we do. This film uses the name of God and Jesus inappropriately, one time by a tertiary antagonistic character. But it’s a story that represents beautiful family character and also sparks supremely important conversation.
REVIEW: Wonder is an amazing film, giving us a likeable hero and underdog in Auggie (short for August) Pullman, adeptly portrayed by Jacob Tremblay. His parents, portrayed by Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, decided that Mom would homeschool him. But now they want him to attend fifth grade with other kids, so he begins attending Beecher Prep School. Auggie has the kind of sense of humor that can win kids over—well, most of them anyway. He says he is good at playing sports (on his X Box of course), and he loves Star Wars, so he deals with the stares from others by imagining what it would be like if Chewbacca the wookie showed up at school—he would stared at, too!
The movie features a subplot of Auggie’s sister, Via (Izabela Vidovic), who is always overlooked. She says that Auggie is like the sun, and their family revolves everything around him. She really cares for Auggie but sometimes feels as if she is invisible, especially when her friend Miranda comes back from a summer camp and seems to no longer want to be friends. But we do learn that there is something Miranda is dealing with that involves her parents.
The story is realistically portrayed and features some nice sentiments like, “It is better to be kind than right.” This one is a close call as far as receiving the Dove Seal due to an utterance of strong language, but there is a lot the movie got right, including the presenting of the Henry Ward Beecher Medal to someone who shows great courage. The movie makes the point that sometimes something or someone different winds up being a “wonder” indeed.