Movie Diary 12/13/2022

The Wonder (Sebastian Lelio, 2022). A well-turned 19th-century tale of a rational nurse (Florence Pugh) brought to Ireland to observe the possibly miraculous phenomenon of a little Catholic girl (Kila Lord Cassidy) who beams with health and faith despite not having eaten in months. The movie’s skepticism about “stories” is well-taken, and underlined by a framing device that reminds us of the apparatus of storytelling persuasion. Lelio is always good with actors, and everyone is strong here; it makes sense that the local tribunal is made up of formidable characters players such as Ciaran Hinds, Brian F. O’Byrne, and Toby Jones, because they should be intimidating to Pugh’s undaunted outsider.