Film Review: Wonderstruck

By: Amy Cassandra

Striking wonder into the viewers’ eyes is exactly what Wonderstruck did. Todd Haynes carefully crafts this adaption of of an illustrated novel by ‘Hugo’ author Brian Selznick by choosing iconic songs and visually portraying the two timelines accurately. With an iconic face like Julianne Moore’s one of the only downfalls of the movie was casting her as two different characters,
creating a little bit of confusion, for a part of the third act.

With its two main storylines being driven by children and their search for family members, the audience gets to see New York through the unassuming eyes of unjaded kids. The two young
main actors surpass expectations and bring so much maturity to these roles. Millicent Simmons, who plays young Rose, draws you in with her genuine smile and her 1920s era facial expressions that you almost forget she never uttered a word in the film. Oaks Fegley, who plays Ben, has a swagger about him that even after becoming deaf, doesn’t fade. Now that’s keeping
it cool.

With a little bit of comedy sprinkled into Ben’s timeline and the silent movie feels intertwined into Rose’s timeline, we get a breath of fresh air of not having to rush a movie or have constant
dialogue at all times. There were completely silent moments in the film that allowed it to breathe and gave the viewers a peek into Rose & Ben’s ears.

It’s a shame viewers have to wait until the end of the film to experience one of its best parts, the models telling the story of Ben and Rose’s families with exquisite detail and creativity. Though the film does a good job showcasing New York in the 1920s silent film era and New York in the 1970s era, it doesn’t completely tie in all that smoothly until Julianne Moore’s older character
literally writes it all out. What the film did is open our eyes and ears as viewers to experience the world with less stimuli.

In a world where people are constantly exposed to noise, it’s nice to step back and take it in differently. Try driving home without the radio on, or without Siri (if you can) and listen to the
world. There’s so much we’re missing by just not listening. Lastly, listen when I say this film is a sweet watch if you want to see talented young actors, Julianne Moore with a little of prosthetics
and some mystery and childlike curiosity-you’ll be wonderstruck!

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