A few months ago Stephen Chbosky‘s Wonder (Lionsgate, 11.17) was being sold as a delicate family drama in the vein of Peter Bogdanovich‘s Mask. Based on three relatively recent novels by R.J. Palacio, it’s about the journey of a young kid with a facial deformity (Jacob Tremblay) as he acclimates to school, and how his parents (Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson) and extended family help him along.
Five months ago (i.e., late May) a trailer popped. [See after the jump.] It suggested that the film would be partly about fear and trepidation and grade-school cruelty, and partly about love and kindness and family support. Sad to say, any half-realistic story about a facially deformed child would include depictions of cruelty at school, as kids can be absolutely heartless when it comes to judgments and dismissals of kids that are “different.”
Unfortunately, the trailer that popped today is about nothing but warm and glowing feel-good vibes. It’s all about gobs of parental love and hugs and tears of joy. It’s basically selling a film about what a wondrous and magical thing it is for a kid to be facially deformed. In short, the marketing guys seem to be panicking.