Coming to Netflix on November 16th and in select cinemas on November 2nd is the Irish drama The Wonder. Starring Florence Pugh, Niamh Algar, Kila Lord Cassidy and Elaine Cassidy The Wonder is about an English nurse summoned to a rural village in Ireland roughly a decade after the Famine. When Lib arrives she learns that her patient is a young eleven-year-old girl called Anna (Lord Cassidy).
She also learns that Anna has not eaten in four months and is seemingly healthy. The community takes it as some kind of miracle. Lib is not convinced and is tasked by the council of the village to discover if there is more afoot.
The Wonder and the stories we tell
The Wonder is a beautiful and heartbreaking film. From its harrowing performances to its wondrous if broken landscape, this is a must-see film. There is nothing not to fall in love with this film. The Wonder is a genuine masterpiece. Pugh has potentially never been better, taking on the role of a woman who has lost so much and seen so much sorrow but still struggles on because she must.
When she is faced with this “miracle” she doesn’t know what to do, especially when she begins to love this child hoping only for Anna’s safety and well-being. It is here where the film excels because young Kila is a star in the making. She commands every scene she is in with her ethereal energy. Her otherworldly presence adds an air of macabre to the film as you’re not quite sure what is happening with her character. Is she faking? Is she a miracle of god? Or is there a third more complex answer?
All of these questions are in your head as this tragedy builds to its climax. Honestly, I found the film a surprisingly emotional one. As the events grow more and more troubling for the characters I subconsciously was holding in my breath and when the film finally came to its end I found myself in tears. This story and these characters had snuck up on me and made me care for their plight and connected with me emotionally without me even realising it.
I say this rarely but it is true with this film because of director Sebastián Lelio and author Emma Donoghue. This film is one of those films that reminds us of telling stories. It reminded me of their power and their danger. The Wonder is one of the best films of the year and I hope if you have the chance you’ll check it out at your local cinema. At the very least you owe it to yourself to see it on Netflix.
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