THE WONDER on Netflix is a new thriller, drama, and mystery movie starring Florence Pugh. A strong and scary story about human nature. Especially in relation to faith and science. Read our full The Wonder Netflix movie review here!

THE WONDER is a new Netflix thriller drama with a mystery as the main driving force. Florence Pugh stars in the all-important lead role and, once again, she is mind-blowingly good. To be fair, the story in this one is also very strong and the movie works remarkably well as a whole.

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This really is a psychological thriller that makes you wonder in several unexpected ways. Mostly in relation to faith and science – as well as everything in between.

Also, I loved how this movie opens and closes with a narrator (the amazing Niamh Algar) and by pulling back the movie’s magic curtain. Bold and brilliant!

Continue reading our The Wonder movie review below. Find it on Netflix from November 16, 2022.

Integrity personified – but with heart

Florence Pugh is integrity personified as Nurse Wright, who is meant to watch the young Anna, who refuses to eat. Anna only needs “manna from Heaven” so she doesn’t eat. Nurse Wright (Florence Pugh) is there to watch her to find out if this can be true.

If it is, they have a miracle on their hands. And the village sure would like that during this terrible period of pain and hunger. The alternative; that all of this has somehow been faked by the girl (and her family) would be a disgrace. The Wonder is an intriguing look at this conundrum.

The Church – and some of the villagers – want to believe, but also want proof. Father Thaddeus (Ciarán Hinds) isn’t unreasonable in that respect. The medical community, on the other hand, is also hoping for a new discovery through this anomaly. Actually “the medical community” is mostly just Dr. McBrearty (Toby Jones).

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As the nurse, Florence Pugh is a steadfast believer in facts and that you cannot survive without food. As proven by the many starvation deaths all over the country. However, Nurse Wright will do what she can for her patient while maintaining both her own integrity and showing love for the young girl.

This might make The Wonder sound sweet and lovely, but the circumstances around this young girl are obviously brutal. She cannot win in the long run, which is what makes this such a dreadful story.

The Wonder – Review | Netflix Mystery Thriller

Perfect mother-daughter casting

Can you really do better with a mother-daughter casting than when you cast a real-life mother and daughter? Well, yes, you can if one of these people isn’t good for the role. In the case of The Wonder, this casting is absolutely perfect.

Not only do you get the remarkable (and obvious) family resemblance, but you also get two amazing performances. As the mother, Rosaleen O’Donnell, we see Elaine Cassidy (The Others, Fingersmith) who delivers a strong performance with relatively few scenes. She is always amazing, so this is hardly a surprise.

However, to see the daughter, Anna O’Donnell, portrayed with so much heart and pain by Kíla Lord Cassidy, the real daughter of Elaine Cassidy, is a true revelation. This isn’t the first acting credit for Kíla Lord Cassidy, but this is the one that puts her on the proverbial map.

Watch The Wonder on Netflix now!

Sebastián Lelio is the director of The Wonder and he always makes movies that leave a strong mark on their viewers. His previous movie was Disobedience (2017) and before that, he won the “Best Foreign Language Film” Academy Award with Una Mujer Fantástica (A Fantastic Woman).

He wrote this screenplay with Alice Birch (Normal People). The Wonder is based on the book by Emma Donoghue, who also wrote Room. That book was also adapted and resulted in an Academy Award for Brie Larson and truly kicked off Jacob Tremblay‘s career.

This movie just might do the same for the career of the young Kíla Lord Cassidy. Just like the performance by Florence Pugh in The Wonder is certainly also Oscar-worthy, so it could happen again. It feels like every award is waiting for Florence Pugh with the amazing performances she consistently gives!

The Wonder is on Netflix globally from November 16, 2022.

Details

Director: Sebastián Lelio
Writers: Emma Donoghue (book), Sebastián Lelio, Alice Birch
Cast: Florence Pugh, Tom Burke, Elaine Cassidy, Kíla Lord Cassidy, Niamh Algar, Toby Jones, Ciarán Hinds

Plot

1862, 13 years after the Great Famine. An English Nightingale Nurse Lib Wright (Florence Pugh) is called to the Irish Midlands by a devout community to conduct a 15-day examination over one of their own. Anna O’Donnell (Kíla Lord Cassidy) is an 11-year-old girl who claims not to have eaten for four months, surviving miraculously on “manna from heaven”. As Anna’s health rapidly deteriorates, Lib is determined to unearth the truth, challenging the faith of a community that would prefer to stay believing.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina