Director Todd Haynes’s latest Indie “Wonderstruck” is an interesting splice between a coming-of-age story and a silent movie. Based on the book by Brian Selznick, who also wrote the screenplay, the movie brings those qualities altogether.
The coming-of-age story has talking, is shot in color, and takes place in Minnesota of 1977. It’s about a young boy named Ben (Oakes Fegley), whose librarian mother (Michelle Williams) dies in a car accident, and has always wanted to know the truth about his father. So, the boy travels to New York City to get answers.
And the silent movie story is shot in black and white and takes place in Hoboken, New Jersey of 1927. A young deaf girl named Rose (newcomer Millicent Simmonds) is fascinated by the famous actress (Julianne Moore). Her strict father is at his wits end with her fantasies and hearing problem, so she runs away to New York City for a better life.
And Ben starts grow deaf, too, after being hit by lightning. So we have a story about two deaf kids 50 years apart from each other, and they check out the Museum of Natural History. And on his travels, he meets the older Rose (also played by Moore), who answers his questions.
“Wonderstruck” could of had a bit more life into it fantasy world, but nonetheless, the film surprised me with its vision of deaf people finding magic in their world. Fegley, Moore, and Simmonds all shine gracefully, and the sets and locations are lovely.