The Wonder

Another new film arriving today on Netflix is the film The Wonder, a period piece thriller directed by Sebastián Lelio. The film featured a lead performance from Florence Pugh, who continues to rack up strong performance after another.

According to IMDB, “Set in The Irish Midlands in 1862, the story follows a young girl who stops eating but remains miraculously alive and well. English nurse Lib Wright (Florence Pugh) is brought to a tiny village to observe eleven-year old Anna O’Donnell (Kila Lord Cassidy). Tourists and pilgrims mass to witness the girl who is said to have survived without food for months. Is the village harbouring a saint ‘surviving on manna from heaven’ or are there more ominous motives at work?

The first scene and final shot of this movie was very bizarre and unexpected. It also had no connection to the story that is told by the film. I am unsure why the filmmakers made this choice. Although it certainly was an original option, it was forgotten quickly until the final scene appeared on the screen. Without spoiling it, I can’t go into further specifics.

The story of Anna, the girl who had not eaten for four months, is an interesting mystery with some decent ambiance. However, I did find the movie slow and a little dull. The movie was truly lucky to have such an amazing actor in Florence Pugh as its lead because I am not sure this worked at all if it were not for Pugh.

Pugh’s nurse character Lib Wright was conflicted by everything that was going on, from her first investigation of what was going on to the apparent downturn of Anna’s health during her watch.

There are several excellent actors involved here that did not have a ton to do. These actors included Toby Jones, Ciarán Hinds, Elaine Cassidy, Caolán Byrne, Dermot Crowley, Niamh Algar, Tom Burke and Brian F. O’Byrne.

The Wonder dealt with religion and miracles and the desperation for the human beings to connect to something more than what they have. There is a tragic element involved here too, but the story is slow. Pugh does a ton of heavy lifting and pulls the film out, but just barely.

3 stars

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