Combustible Celluloid Review - The Wonder (2022), Emma Donoghue, Sebastián Lelio, Alice Birch, based on a book by Emma Donoghue, Sebastián Lelio, Florence Pugh, Kíla Lord Cassidy, Tom Burke, Niamh Algar, Elaine Cassidy, Caolán Byrne, Toby Jones, Ciarán Hinds, Dermot Crowley, Brían F. O'Byrne, David Wilmot, Ruth Bradley, Josie Walker
Combustible Celluloid
 
With: Florence Pugh, Kíla Lord Cassidy, Tom Burke, Niamh Algar, Elaine Cassidy, Caolán Byrne, Toby Jones, Ciarán Hinds, Dermot Crowley, Brían F. O'Byrne, David Wilmot, Ruth Bradley, Josie Walker
Written by: Emma Donoghue, Sebastián Lelio, Alice Birch, based on a book by Emma Donoghue
Directed by: Sebastián Lelio
MPAA Rating: R for some sexuality
Running Time: 108
Date: 11/16/2022
IMDB

The Wonder (2022)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Hunger Psych

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The talented Argentinian director Sebastián Lelio (Gloria, A Fantastic Woman, Disobedience) crafts this entrancing mystery, set in Ireland in the mid-19th century. The equally gifted Florence Pugh brings gravity and fire to her role as nurse Lib Wright, who is tasked with watching over a young woman, Anna (Kíla Lord Cassidy), who has — apparently — not eaten a bite in four months. (She claims that she is surviving on "manna from Heaven.") Lib is to either discover if the child is a miracle or a fraud. A reporter, William Byrne (Tom Burke), is also interested in the story, and tries to pry information from Lib. The Wonder is set in a small village, all gray skies and mud — the hems of Pugh's dress are forever stained — and it feels earthy and fleshy, so much so that food and hunger are a part of the fabric. The screenplay, adapted from Emma Donoghue's novel, constantly shifts power and prejudice (men are in charge here), so that everything feels constantly on edge. The great cast also includes Toby Jones and Ciarán Hinds, and Pugh gives a great performance, but it's young Cassidy who knocks it out of the park with her full-throated, intensely suffering miracle girl.

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