Florence Pugh’s first screen role after “Don’t Worry Darling” is Oscar-winning director Sebastián Lelio’s “The Wonder.” The “A Fantastic Woman” and “Disobedience” director helms the drama for Netflix, which releases “The Wonder” in theaters on November 2 before it arrives on the streaming platform November 16. It’s the tale of a young Irish girl, Anna O’Donnell, whose Catholic family claims she has eaten nothing since her 11th birthday, which was four months ago. Watch the trailer below.
Per the official synopsis, it’s 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 (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.
The film is based on the novel by “Room” author Emma Donoghue. Chilean director Sebastián Lelio returns with his first feature since 2018’s darling “Gloria Bell” — itself a remake, starring Julianne Moore, of his 2013 film “Gloria.” The ensemble cast includes Tom Burke (“Mank”), Niamh Algar (“Censor”), Elaine Cassidy (“Disco Pigs”), Kíla Lord Cassidy (“The Doorman”), Toby Jones (“First Cow”), Dermot Crowley (“The Death of Stalin”), Brían F. O’Byrne (“Little Boy Blue”), and Ciaran Hinds (“The Terror”), with Donoghue, Lelio, and Alice Birch penning the script.
From IndieWire’s review of the movie: “If not for that odd framing device, you might have reason to see ‘The Wonder’ as a story in which saints and scams are mutually exclusive, but the introduction filters the entire film through a lens that refracts it into a story that has nothing to do with God, and everything to do with belief. At no point does Lib seriously entertain the idea that Anna might actually be fed by ‘manna from heaven,’ and at no point does Donoghue’s script — co-authored by Lelio and “Lady Macbeth” writer Alice Birch — reduce the plot to a cheap parlor game. But the fact that there’s no magic at work doesn’t necessarily mean that a miracle can’t occur.”
Read IndieWire’s interview with the filmmaker and star here.