The Wonder (2022) Netflix Movie Review – A film you can believe in!
A film that you can trust!
Director Sebastian Lelio’s latest The Wonder directed by Sebastian Lelio Wonder is set in the aftermath of the Great Famine in 1862 Ireland However, if you’re hoping to be thrown into the film’s devastating Irish setting in the first few seconds, you’re likely to receive a pleasant surprise.
Instead of the blowing Irish country or the cobbled streets of one of the small towns in Ireland, the film starts in a contemporary film studio. The voiceover comes from the actress Niamh Algar, who is one of the main characters in the film.
As the camera moves across the studio as she introduces us to the story of the film. She declares:
“This begins the story. It’s the beginning of a movie known as The Wonder. You’re likely to meet are fictional characters. Trust their stories with complete faith. There is nothing more important than stories So we encourage you to believe in this story.”
The camera is then positioned on the boat’s cabin with actors carrying their roles inside. One of the actors is Florence Pugh who is sitting at a wooden table, enjoying dinner while smoke is rising from the stove in front of her.
So, what’s the motive behind this intriguing opening? In essence, it’s a form of metaphor for the film’s primary story. The idea of encouraging viewers to be convinced by a narrative that begins on a film stage and is set on an artificial vessel is a deliberate choice because the nurse of Pugh, Lib Wright is convinced to believe in something that, from a distance appears to be an elaborate hoax.
Just moments after the fake film’s opening, we can see Lib riding a carriage pulled by horses taking her across into the Irish country to the local inn, where she’s booked a hotel room. Because the film is currently in the field, we can begin to get a sense of the future events like we were invited to in the beginning.
What about the nurse? The nurse has been appointed to supervise Anna (Kila Lord Cassidy) an infant girl who is on a fast of a religious nature. Anna hasn’t eaten in a few months but, amazingly, she is healthy. This is the amazing thing that has amazed the people of the community however, is her story something Lib could trust?
Well, no. She is skeptical about this miracle, and her sole concern is her health and well-being of Anna. She fears that the girl is struggling to eat, but when she tries to convince village elders about this she is ridiculed by them and advised to go back to what they hired her for. It is evident that a portion of the members believe in Anna’s tale with “complete dedication,” as incredulous as it may seem.
But is God truly sustaining Anna by providing her with “manna out of Heaven” as the child herself claims or is she in danger of becoming sick? Is she pulling the wool over the eyes of everyone with assistance from her relatives? We don’t know the answer that we’ll reveal in this article, but you’ll be happy to learn that the truth will be revealed in the closing portion of the documentary. The degree to which you’ll be content with the facts will depend on whether or not you are a believer in the scientific method or religious belief.
Because of the skilled cinematography that captures perfectly the look and feel of famine-ravaged Ireland, it’s very easy to imagine that what you are watching is true. The acting is a great way to believe it because of the outstanding performance by Pugh, Cassidy, and the rest of the cast, and Lelio’s direction does well to draw us into this enthralling tale too.
The haunting music score with whistles, howls, and fleeting voices, make an impressive impression, and this, in conjunction with the dark images of Anna’s home featuring flickering candlelight and bouncing shadows, contributes to the eerie feeling that the movie has. It’s not to say that the film doesn’t fall into scary territory, however, there are darker subplots that are slowly revealed as Anna’s story is made clear.
We know we’re watching a narrative unfold but it’s one that’s difficult to trust. This isn’t just because of the technical proficiency of the film’s directors and impressive acting talent, but also because the movie has been set in a period and era in which people believed in the belief in miracles to escape despair brought on by the current plague.
The Wonder is available to stream on Netflix right now It is highly recommended. The Wonder is slow at times, and requires patience but if you’re willing to “believe that the tale with total devotion,” you will be given a masterfully-crafted film that gives you lots of food for thought all the way to the moment the credits have ended.
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