No Wonder (Film Thoughts: Wonderstruck)

wsThe concept and plot of ‘Wonderstruck,’ isn’t normally something I would be interested at, but I went because it is directed by Todd Haynes, whose work I really do admire. In this movie, we have two parallel stories of a child in search of something. It is based on Brian Selznick’s novel of the same name. One part is set in 1927, about Rose (Millicent Simmonds) who takes the ferry from Hoboken, New Jersey to New York City in search of an actress, Lillian Mayhew, played by Julian Moore. The second part of the story is set in 1977, where a boy Ben (Oakes Fegley) takes a bus from Minnesota to Manhattan in search for his father. The first part is shot in black white, like a silent movie (Mayhew is a silent film actress) while the latter is in glorious seventies color. I thought the production values here were excellent, especially the scenes from the 70s, which really made you feel like you were there at that particular time.

ws1However, neither of the stories moved me. They just weren’t interesting enough for me and I have to admit that some parts made me literally doze off. It was quite slow, and the payoff, especially the big reveal in Ben’s storyline, not worth the whole effort. I thought it extremely long, and pointless.  I really wanted to like this film, but ended up thoroughly disappointed and frustrated with it. And perhaps because of this, I find I can never remember the title, mistaking it for Wanderlust, or Wonderscene. It’s Wonderstruck, and I just wasn’t.

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