The Wonder, a Florence Pugh-studded period drama with perfectly boring cinematography, is precisely the type of film Netflix needs more of: a truly memorable low-budget film with true artistic merit that’s performance- rather than star-driven. It’s a film that fully leans into what makes it work. They need more The Wonders and fewer Red Notices.
Set in the Irish Midlands in 1862, the latest film by Chilean director Sebastián Lelio (Disobedience, Gloria Bell) stars Pugh (in what will likely be her best performance of the year unless Puss and Boots: The Last Wish pulls an upset) as the London-based nurse Elizabeth (Lib) Wright, who is sent to observe a young girl, Anna O’Donnell (Kíla Lord Cassidy), who has not eaten anything but “God’s manna” for an entire four months. At least, that’s the story.
Speaking of stories, I was blindsided by the film’s meta opening—in which Elaine Cassidy (who plays Anna’s mother, Rosaleen O’Donnell) speaks about stories and the power of believing in them from outside the film’s opening set. “We are nothing without stories,” she says from her meta-location peering into the film’s set, “So we invite you to believe in this one.”
Read the full article at the Boston Hassle.