All Roads Lead Inward in Director Haynes’ “Wonderstruck”

Written by | Entertainment, Screen

Julianne Moore

Director Todd Haynes (Carol), A father of American gay cinema, works his particular brand of cinematic magic again in Wonderstruck.

The plot revolves around a boy in the 1970s who — after losing his mother in one tragic accident and his hearing in another — embarks on a quest to New York to find a father that no one would ever tell him about. This boy’s trek is paralleled by (and interwoven with) the journey of a young girl in the 1920s who is deaf and also searching for her place within a seemingly indifferent world. Appropriate to her era, the girl’s scenes are in black and white and devoid of sound (save for an evocative score by Carter Burwell). As the stories of both children unwind and intertwine, a theme emerges — about exploring one’s history and how the things we collect that make up who we are is like exploring a personal museum. It’s worth noting how, as Haynes explores the museums inside his characters, he also works in the wonders of some of New York’s most recognizable museums to great effect. The cast is excellent: youngsters Millicent Simmonds and Oakes Fegley (Pete’s Dragon) are joined by veterans like frequent Haynes collaborator Julianne Moore. THE WORD: A great example of a true mystery; the kind where as you peel back the layers you find — instead of answers — wonder. COMING TO: Theaters

Last modified: March 28, 2019