THE WONDER MOVIE REVIEW
The Screener Squad venture to 19th century Ireland to bring to you, the devoted listeners, our in-depth thoughts on a film that is as bleak as it is hunger-inducing. Seriously, just thinking about this film makes me want to grab the biggest cheeseburger I can find. But first things first…Netflix’s The Wonder, directed by Sebastián Lelio and adapted from Emma Donoghue’s novel of the same name, stars the always-wonderful Florence Pugh as Lib, a young English nurse who finds herself journeying to a small country town in Ireland. The year is 1892 and the country is still reeling from the lasting effects of the Great Famine, so of course her arrival is…shall we say less than well-received by the tight-knit community. To make matters worse, Lib has been tasked with observing a local girl who claims to have not eaten an ounce of food for four straight months. Her survival is nothing short of astounding and, according to the townsfolk, surely a miracle from God. As Lib becomes familiar with the fasting girl and her family, she grows increasingly determined to discover the truth behind this strange phenomenon while wrestling with her own tragic past. The premise of this film is a fascinating one and is bound to inspire plenty of discussion between those who can stomach (so to speak) the idea of watching it. But does the film succeed beyond the strength of its concept…or is this a meal you can ultimately skip? That’s what Rose, Jena, Matt and Melina have come together to discuss.
DIRECTED BY: Sebastián Lelio
STARRING: Florence Pugh, Kila 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
Rose Mattox (Screener Squad)
Originally hailing from Austin then Houston, Rose has been an avid movie and TV fanatic pretty much since birth. She spends spending her days watching Star Trek reruns, 60’s spy fiction, and Audrey Hepburn movies with her beloved minion (see: dog Riley). She also occasionally dabbles in comedy, screenwriting, as well as graphic and interior design. Rose has been contributing to One of Us since 2019 as a member of the Screener Squad, as well as making regular appearances on Eye on the Prize during awards season. She can be found on Twitter at @nightattheopera.
Jena Perry (Screener Squad)
Jena Perry. Aka Luna. Aka Dion. Aka Memori. Aka Dog whisperer. Aka whiskey connoisseur. As you can see, depending on when you met this Oakland, California native, you have experienced a completely different person, each time. After finally deciding on a 13+year career choice as a Videographer and Radio Personality, Jena balances her time between pursuing her Doctorate in Philosophy, providing insightful and funny critiques on films and Television, raising her daughter and dog in Ohio, and constantly fighting off the existential dread that is being a dope black woman in America in the 20th century.
Matt Foster (Screener Squad)
Matt Foster is a stand up comic, podcaster, and movie critic currently living in the greater Salt Lake City area. His lifelong love of genre film began early, when he realized they freaked out his mom. He performs (epidemics permitting) regularly on Dungeons and Comedy, a DND live play with standup comedians, and is the slightly less mustache-y half of the Nighthawks Podcast, a cinema-centric discussion cohosted by Trevor T. Trujillo.
Melina Eames (Screener Squad)
Melina first discovered that she carried the nerd gene at the tender age of four following her exposure to a little film called A New Hope. In the twenty-some years that followed, Melina continued to grow into her geek identity through the discovery of Batman, Mst3k, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and The Mandalorian. But perhaps her most significant discovery came at the age of fourteen when a night of YouTube mining led her to the review site of Spill.com. Melina became a devoted follower whose fandom did not end with the site’s demise. By then, it had worked its dark magic and left her with a love and appreciation for film criticism that she has yet to shrug.
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