Wonder review: Simple storytelling reigns supreme in emotional tale

If you think you will make it through even the trailer without welling up with tears, well of course you won't. Wonder is just that kind of story.

This bestselling and much-loved novel comes to the big screen with rising star Jacob Tremblay in the lead role of Auggie Pullman. Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson are well cast as his parents.

Home-schooled his whole young life, 27 operations on his face, Auggie will never be just another kid.  And when he is thrust into the maelstrom of middle school for the very first time, he - and his family - will face their biggest challenge yet.

It's a given that this would be an emotional watch, but there are so many ways to get this type of story so very wrong, and it's a delight to see the filmmakers here get it so right.

Most notably, they resisted the urge for heavy-handed audience manipulation in favour of simple storytelling.

Tremblay is just great as Auggie, building on his impressive breakout performance in Room, and he manages to bring an accessible kind of ordinary to an extraordinary boy.

'Tis the season not just for Christmas trees and tinsel, but to celebrate the very basic joy of human kindness. Wonder is a perfectly timed celebration of that, a faithful adaption of an excellent book delivered with a welcome gentle restraint.

Four stars.