Earlier this week a friend saw Stephen Chbosky‘s Wonder (Lionsgate, 11.17), the little-kid-with-a-disfigured-face movie with Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Jacob Tremblay.

“It was better than expected,” he says. “I was actually surprised at how likable it was. And it doesn’t just focus on the disfigured kid. At some point the film starts to shift toward other characters linked to the kid and tell their own stories, with each chapter being named after them. There must have been around three chapters dedicated to three separate characters.

“It seems as if critics are already shooting darts at it, mostly because of that misguided trailer, so who knows how the reviews will turn out? But all the child actors are really good in this, all of them delivering is a very believable way. I bought the story of the kid as well. It never felt maudlin or sugar-coated. Roberts was also excellent, probably her best work since…what, Duplicity?

“We shouldn’t be so surprised that Wonder has turned out to be a good movie. Chbosky, who brought a sensitive and delicate touch to The Perks of Being a Wallflower, is no slouch. The ending is a bit flat, but most of the movie works.”