The Wonder

Set in the Irish Midlands in 1859 as an English nurse, Lib Wright, goes to a tiny village to observe what some see as a medical anomaly and others a miracle, that a girl has survived without food for months. Tourists flock to see 11-year-old Anna O’Donnell, and a journalist has come to cover the sensation as two strangers transform each other’s lives in a story of love pitted against evil.

  • Released: 2022-11-02
  • Runtime: 103 minutes
  • Genre: Drama, History, Mystery
  • Stars: Florence Pugh, Tom Burke, Niamh Algar, Elaine Cassidy, Kíla Lord Cassidy, Toby Jones, Ciarán Hinds, Dermot Crowley, Caolan Byrne, Brían F. O'Byrne, Josie Walker, David Wilmot, Stephen Ball, Mary Murray, Niamh Finlay, John Burke, Emer Casey, Graeme Coughlan, Abigail Coburn, Ava May Taylor, Janet Grene
  • Director: Sebastián Lelio
 Comments
  • MazzyMayhem-117-544511 - 13 January 2023
    Interesting and terrifying at the same time
    I don't want to give away too much (but that wretched 600 character minimum requirement doesn't help), but this film is one to persevere with. It moves along slowly but pay attention and put subtitles on!

    This film is brilliantly acted by Florence Pugh and Kila Lord Cassidy who, despite being so young, really holds her own throughout the film. They are both supported by a good cast, but having some personal experience on the subject, I think the clergy were unbelievably quiet/subdued- particularly as this takes place in 19th century Ireland.

    The storyline isn't just about faith vs science, but touches on abuse in many forms. I don't want to give anymore away.

    I'll end by saying I wasn't keen on the music or the beginning and end of the film - and I certainly didn't understand why that woman was talking at the end!
  • Mabkid - 11 January 2023
    Cinematically Beautiful and Moody
    The Wonder starts off with the mystery of a girl who seems to be surviving without eating at all. A nurse, and a nun, has been charged to assess the situation.

    The actors are mesmerizing, the cinematography is captivating, the vast untamed nature of Ireland is gorgeous.

    The mystery and the story is slow-paced. Not everyone will like this kind of storytelling. All the suspense explodes in a climax at the end. Now if you just want the punchline, you might not have liked wasting your time. However, if you enjoy the build up, you'll be able to appreciate The Wonder.

    It's not for everybody. Personally, I appreciate a well shot movie, and the several twists at the end is satisfying .
  • evanston_dad - 11 January 2023
    When Beliefs Go Too Far
    Wow, people really can make themselves believe anything, can't they?

    Florence Pugh gives a characteristically prickly performance as an English nurse who's sent to a small Irish village to observe the phenomena of a girl who has survived for four months without food and report her findings back to the town council. The girl's family and many townsfolk believe it's divine intervention. Others, Pugh's character among them, are skeptical and think they're being hosed. It's a classic confrontation between science and faith, and the movie asks whether it's possible for both to exist at the same time.

    I really dug this movie's tone and mood. It plays almost like a horror film at times, and when the secret behind the girl's condition emerges, it certainly is horrible enough.

    Grade: A-
  • jonytoso - 9 January 2023
    An Underrated Experience
    I don't get why this movie gets a 6,6 in imdb. All the performaces are explendid. This is a story where you shouldn't read anything about it. It's an unpredictable ride from the start to end. You don't actually know where the story goes. If you reflect the movie after watching it, you understand how insane it is but it is so perfectly done, that you could actually believe, it could happen. I love the slow but necessary pacing, because it helps to relate to the characters, even though they are completly insane sometimes. These slow moments are so carefully done and add so much to the story.

    The cinemathography is amazing. The colors add so much for the enviroment.

    This is a perfect, simple, and insane movie and will probably be a classic in 40 years from now.
  • ragha_imt - 9 January 2023
    Pretentious
    An empty, boring movie with a needlessly sombre music track forcefully fitted in for no good reason. If not for my lousy habit of sitting through to the end of any movie that i start watching, I should have abandoned watching this movie a long time back. Some scenes went totally over my head. Why was the nurse pricking herself and letting blood every now and then. And the journalist character and their initial physical relationship.... what was that all about and why ? And the combination of a nurse and nun ? Didn't make sense to me.

    There are better movies and better uses of your 90 minutes.
  • InterMedia-1221 - 9 January 2023
    Nothing special !
    I've seen this movie, going back on 19 century, it's understandable usually movies back on time crafting of story is slowly developed, and yeah you except something special at the ending, especially when it's mystery, small details being the key, atmospheric ending revealing everything with perfect excecution.

    When you see opposite of what i wrote here, based to this movie it's empty inside, well crafted outside (scenery, montage, editing), with the lack of script overall it's a waste of potential, the ending of this story is so poor excecuted.. if you like movies with ordinary story and for scenery without the depth inside go ahead.
  • paudman - 7 January 2023
    Too many unanswered questions
    I'll give this movie 2 stars as it was beautifully filmed. Other than that.... an Irish family are starving their only daughter in a kind of religious fervor, seemingly because they think it will save her brother from Hell, since he was having sex with her from the age of nine. However the mother is covertly feeding her, which makes no sense, defeating the purpose of the entire process, and when the child starts to rebel and is about to start publicly eating again, is then prepared to let her die. The history appears to be that the Irish hate the English because of the famine, but are happy to starve their own children when it suits them. None of them appear to work, bar one woman who cuts turf and seems to do everything that the others are too lazy or too busy praying to do. An English nurse then whisks the daughter away to Australia after burning the house down... the whole thing makes the Irish out to be a collection of religious fanatics, singing songs to Jesus but actually committing slow murder in order to help dead people. Weird. The ending with the 'In Out' bit was probably apt, too. Weird.
  • zorroaca - 7 January 2023
    Slow But Worth the Watch
    I would give a 6.5 but I can't give it a 7... so 6 it is. I am not a fan of dark scenes and this film has a lot... but the costuming is superb, photography is good and Florence Pugh does a good job of acting. The film also does a good job of exposing the backwardness of male dominance and the church during that time period. The screenwriting concerning this is spot on and at the same time is not overdone. The screenwriting also seems original which also keeps you into it. Tom Burke and Kíla Lord Cassidy also did a good job in their parts but Florence Pugh steals the show. All in all it's a good low budget film that gets across the finish line threw thought.
  • brentsbulletinboard - 6 January 2023
    Tries Too Hard But Misses the Mark
    Though atmospheric to a fault, writer-director Sebastián Lelio's meditation on reason vs. Spirituality/mysticism struggles to effectively capture the innate essence of this age-old debate, frequently leaving viewers "wondering" where this story is headed. Set in 1862 Ireland, the film follows the experience of an English nurse (Florence Pugh) assigned to observe a spiritually oriented 11-year-old "miracle child" (Kíla Lord Cassidy) to determine how she has been able to survive in seemingly good health for months without eating, a claim that has made her the object of considerable public curiosity and scrutiny. The investigation subsequently raises numerous theoretical, philosophical and religious questions (many of which aren't satisfactorily answered) while simultaneously revealing much about the past of both nurse and patient and documenting the inquisitiveness of the outside world as seen through the lens of a determined journalist (Tom Burke). However, the narrative underlying this ambitious undertaking doesn't come across as being completely convincing; it often feels thin and underdeveloped, with an uneasy sense of its own inherent viability. That becomes especially apparent in several strange, out-of-place filmed segments and voiceover narrations in which the audience is being urged into believing in the merits of this story to the same degree as the performers who have signed on to appear in the movie (talk about a hard sell). Given the strength of Pugh's fine performance and the picture's excellent production values, it's disappointing that the filmmaker seems so obviously unsure about what he has come up with in this picture, and, in light of Lelio's track record with fine works like "A Fantastic Woman" (2017) and "Disobedience" (2017), I can't help but "wonder" what drew the director to this somewhat flimsy material in the first place. Indeed, considering my interest in the subject matter, I probably cut this one more slack than I realistically should have, and my overall rating could be seen as generous. Here's hoping better projects are in the works moving forward.
  • jfgibson73 - 5 January 2023
    Watchable
    It think this story might have looked a little better on the script than what we got for a movie. Florence Pugh is always the reason to see any movie that she is in, but this is one of her more restrained performances. And that's how most of the movie is: it moves slow, holds back, and doesn't make the stakes feel as dire as they should. I was glad they chose to end the movie the way they did--I thought it was a clever way to resolve things--but the payoff didn't feel anywhere near as rewarding as it should have. It is not a movie that I discussed much afterward with the person I watched it with, and I don't expect either of us to remember hardly anything about it after a few more weeks have passed.
  • liddylewis - 5 January 2023
    Walking Knee Deep Through Mud
    Only to discover that when you finally get through it, you're too exhausted to be relieved.

    This movie hurts my brain.

    I read several reviews, which were on a vast continuum, which lead me to believe it's an uneven movie, but there's promise.

    Turns out, any promise at all lies in fabulous acting, particularly by the lead, Florence Pugh. Too many other marvelous, seasoned actors were woefully wasted by their meager parts.

    As much as I wanted it to, all the great the actors in the world could not hold up this mess on their own.

    If I could rename this one, I'd call it, "Little Surreal on the Prairie," because in the end it's not much more than superstition and a really bad story pretending to be an art house movie. Just because it's abstract, that doesn't mean it's good.

    The end is simply preposterous. Sadly, the entire movie is simply preposterous.
  • lisanne_lanser - 5 January 2023
    Outstanding
    The way this movie was shot and written, shows a good understanding the role the church played in Scotland 1860s.

    They wanted to believe in a miracle so badly they forgot they were offering a Child to do so. When brought to their attention theyd rather believe in God and therefor the wonder rather than listen to the plea of the nurse.

    I truely liked this movie as it had my attention from the first 5 minutes to the end. Florence pugh (Lib Wright) knows her way around a costume film like no other. The micro emotions on her face really show the struggle and heartship throughout every film. This one isnt an exception to that.

    Highly recommend.
  • piibukiri - 4 January 2023
    Gorgeous
    The Wonder was one of the finest cinematic surprises of last year for me. The pacing is spot on, weaving a tale of mystery through the inimitable Irish countryside in the 19th century. It helps to know as little as you can going into the film. Through sheer cinematography and flawless acting, the story wraps you with tenderness and tension. And though the scripting stumbles once or twice towards the end, it never lets the magic fade, thanks to the visual poetry that holds the tale together. Florence Pugh and Kila Cassidy are the backbone in acting but Lelio has assembled an equally terrific supporting cast. Last but nit least, the musical tapestry deserves a mention in its own right. Perfect cinema, just about.
  • matyagriffioen - 2 January 2023
    6.6? People are crazy!
    Rarely IMDB ratings are lower than Metacritic's score, but when they do, you are in for a treat. This film is visually beautiful, amazingly acted, and well written.

    This film is not for everyone, obvious by the IMDB score but it needs to be said that this film is timeless.

    It could have been made in the 20s, 50s, in the 70s, it could have been made 20 years ago, and watching it today I felt that is was relevant, well paced, subtle yet sublime.

    The directing, operating and sound team did a great job capturing the rural Irish surrounding, family ties and community. This film is not about religion or faith, it is about living people and after watching a bunch of entertaining rubbish, this felt like a fresh breath of air.

    Also props to the colorist, it needs to be said. Tomatometer is at 87% and that is a score I can live with!