'Wonder' inspires movie-goers to always act with kindness

Alicia Vitarelli Image
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
'Wonder' inspires movie-goers to always act with kindness
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'Wonder' inspires movie-goers to always act with kindness - Alicia Vitarelli reports during Action News at 12:30pm on Novermber 15, 2017.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Inspiring kindness - that's the goal of the film "Wonder," which hits theaters this Friday.

The film boasts an all-star cast including Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Jabon Tremblay.

It's based on the New York Times bestseller of the same name, which tells the story of a boy born with facial differences who attends mainstream elementary school for the first time.

The film's tagline reads: "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."

This is the story of 10-year-old Auggie Pullman. It was inspired by something that happened to the author, R.J. Palacio, in real-life when her son was three years old.

She says they were at an ice cream shop when he had an unexpected and as she says, embarrassing reaction to a little girl who looked different.

"In my haste to protect the little girl from seeing his reaction to her face, I whisked him away and afterwards I really regretted it because I thought, you know, I missed the opportunity to use it as a teaching moment. I should have just turned to the little girl and started up a conversation," she recalled. "And that just got me thinking what it must be like to face a world every day that doesn't quite know how to face you back."

Her book became a bestseller - and now, a feature film.

The director, Stephen Chbosky, the author of "The Perks of Being a Wallflower", says the goal was to get everyone of all ages to have all the feels watching it and all of the important talks afterwards.

"I wish I were a bird's eye and I could hear all of the family discussions driving home from the theater, because its about something and you walk away with something. So, yeah entertainment that's kind of a Trojan horse to something serious," he said.

R.J. says shes amazed at how her words and character shifts translated to the big screen.

"Wonder" hits theaters on Friday, November 17th.


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