WONDER

Roberts and Tremblay is as superb a combination as it looks. ‘Wonder’ is the feel-good movie of 2017: touching, fun and educational for everyone. A plea to #ChooseKind in the face of the battle everyone goes through daily.

wonder2.jpg

Nate (Wilson), Auggie (Tremblay), Olivia (Vidovic) and Isabel (Roberts)

Set in 2017, ‘Wonder’ shines a light on the unusual and apparently doomed life of a kid named Auggust Pullman (young prodigy Jacob Tremblay, Room). His disease, Treacher Collins Syndrome, which saw him be born with a facial distortion, causes apathetic children to turn their backs on him as he joins school for the first time. His parents Isabel and Nate (Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson) have, most understandably, always been focused on him at his sister Olivia’s expense.

The first half of the movie delves into Auggie’s adaptation to his new environment. Against all the odds, he makes a new friend who ends up being a doubtful one, and in the process learns more about resilience than any other juvenile might ever do. The second half smartly goes through a series of flashbacks that show why some of those doubtful individuals in his atmosphere behave the way they do.

wonder4.jpg

An insecure Auggie struggles to fit in at school

‘Wonder’ is the thoughtful, tear-jerking film we knew we needed at the end of such a year. The acting mesmerizes, especially Roberts’ and Tremblay’s and the script is an uncorny reminder of how long a way being kind goes. A completely recommendable watch, to children and teens above all.

Genre: Family drama.

Original release: November 16, 2017.

Country: United States.

Awards: 2 Golden Globe and 1 SAG nominations.

Grade: B

All images are taken from Google.

 

BATTLE OF THE SEXES

“Empowering” is a word loosely used these days. A speech, a commercial or a poster are often described as such. But ‘Battle of the Sexes’ deserves every letter, as its masterful direction, screenplay and cast come together to depict a refreshingand possibly never more neededreal story that failed to get the coverage it deserved.

battle-of-the-sexes.jpg

Oscar winner Emma Stone and nominee Steve Carell as Billie Jean Kind and Bobby Riggs.

Set in 1973, this riveting production starring everyone’s imaginary BFFs Emma Stone and Steve Carell as tennis giants Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs infuses their famous match with thrill, truth and a raw call for equality. It also delves into the LGBTQ reality of the 70s, which makes Billie Jean’s marriage stumble.

Sarah Silverman and Alan Cumming are a casting delight as King’s manager and stylist, bringing the humanity this actually-disheartening story needs. Costume, characterization and production design all hit the nail on the head, but it’s Simon Beaufoy’s script that truly shines: besides treating the real facts with respect, rigour, passion, vindication and an attractive dose of sassiness rightfully warms hearts and ignites spirits. And we saw that Billie for President sign at the end (the picture was shot before the election).

Emma Stone and Steve Carell give career-defining performances, in an unpredictable yet wished for turn, both receiving Globes and SAG nods. She’s authentic, vulnerable yet strong, caring yet firm and he brings the Carell inherent charm, acting like a hilarious, unfair and all-for-show mysoginist that our inner selves can’t help but love so much because it’s Steve Carell.

king_2587386b.jpg

The originals.

Will it make it to the Academy? Stone could pull a Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give and rig in a Lead Actress nomination. It’s Queen Meryl’s year, though, so nothing needs to be said. Odds aside, I couldn’t recommend highly enough this poignant and all-important story that seems so overwhelmingly empowering today. Personally, my favorite this year. This being said and quoting Laur Dern, may it all continue.

Genre: Sports dramedy.

Original release: September 22, 2017.

Country: United States.

Awards: 2 Golden Globe and 1 SAG nominations.

Grade: A+

All images are taken from Google.