Wonderstruck

The 461st film I have seen in theaters…

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We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars – Oscar Wilde

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In 1927, a deaf girl named Rose travels from her well off home in Hoboken to visit New York. She wants to see a famous film star.

In 1977, a deaf boy named Ben travels from his home in Minnesota to visit New York City. He wants to find his absent father.

These two stories, and the respective adventures of the children weave together a fantastical tale as they eventually, across 50 years, come together.

I’ll say no more. This film is lovely puzzle which unfolds itself with great skill.

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Oakes Fegley plays Ben, the boy from 1977 in search of his father. He does a fine job navigating the mean streets of NYC, never losing sight of his quest.

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Millicent Simmonds makes her film debut as Rose. Millicent is of particular interest to this story as she herself has been deaf since she was very young. This girl nails the role, emoting with the power of a silent film star of the era her character inhabits. She stole the movie.

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Julianne Moore is film star Lillian Mayhew, the object of Rose’s quest. There are more than a couple of twists with her casting, so I will leave it for you to discover, but Moore is always excellent.

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Michelle Williams has a good supporting role as Ben’s mother. He work at the start of the film sets an excellent foundation for the story to evolve.

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Jaden Michael is Jaime, a boy that Ben meets at the Natural History museum. He is a fine young actor, who really shone in this film.

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Cory Michael Smith makes an appearance as Walter, someone that works at the Museum in 1927. I could not find a picture of him in the role, so here is one of him from Gotham. He looks about the same, just in B&W. lol

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This film was a wonderful piece of art. The drama of the film is a bit thin, but this is more of a pretty flower that blooms over the 2 hour run time. The actors were all great, but the real star of this film are behind the scenes. Edward Lachman, the cinematographer, and Carter Burwell, the composer, are particular stand outs.

The music in the film, both the actual score and the 1970’s rock selections, were perfect. The sound design was also spot on. The approach of making the 1927 segments seem like a silent film was perfect for this project. Like art direction and costume design are as good as you can get. The 70’s scenes looked and felt like the 70’s. Likewise for the 20’s.

This film was a perfect hit for me. Some of my favorite songs are in it. One of my favorite cities is the setting, and my favorite museum is the setting for a large portion of the film. It is the type of film that makes the world around you seem a little brighter than when you entered the theater. This is the best kind of movie. 10/10

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