Review: The Wonder
Mrs. Wright (Florence Pugh) is an English nurse sent to Ireland in the 1800's to observe a miracle. A young girl Anna (Kila Lord Cassidy) has gone 4 months without eating. The town doctors and priests want to conduct a study on how this is possible. Mrs. Wright is a woman of science, so she believes something nefarious is at play, but the two women end up changing each others lives.
I've never read the novel this was based on, though I did enjoy the author's previous book (and movie) Room. Netflix should've put more fanfare behind this one, because it's very good. It's subtle, and at times you want to strange more than one person on screen, but I found myself completely enthralled.
I do have to complain about something though, and if you've seen this film, you can tell me I'm being petty. I won't feel bad, but the first and final shots of this movie are awful. Director Sebastián Lelio forces a bookend into this film like a toddler trying to shove a square peg into a round hole. On paper, I can see where it might be interesting, but it pulled me out of the moment and took a while for me to forget about it. I just thought it was stupid. Not stupid enough to ruin the movie, but stupid enough to irrationally bother me almost a full week later after seeing this.
Pugh and Cassidy are perfectly cast. Kila's real life mother Elaine Cassidy also plays her mom here, and that was a fun surprise because I remember her from Disco Pigs and I don't think I've seen her in anything since.
So is this for you? If you're a fan of understated period dramas, I think you'll enjoy it. If you've grown up in religion and left it or eased up on it, you'll probably feel strongly about that aspect too.