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Stars: Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Jacob Tremblay, Izabela Vidovic, Mandy Patinkin, Noah Jupe, Bryce Gheisar, Sonia Braga, Nadji Jeter, Millie Davis, Danielle Rose Russell

Director: Stephen Chbosky

Although well-meaning, this four-hendkerchief weepie is pretty icky in its execution. Born with a hideously deformed face, 10-year-old Auggie (Tremblay, the boy from Room) is, after 27 operations, still notably disfigured, and goes around with an astronaut's helmet over his head.

After years of home-schooling, his parents (Roberts, Wilson) decide to send their son to an ordinary school. Inevitably Auggie is alternately mocked and shunned on arrival, notably by a clutch of sneering know-it-alls led by Julian (Gheisar), whose parents are financial supporters of the school.

Meanwhile, his mousy sister Via (Vidovic), who has accepted that Auggie most always be the centre of her parents' attentions, also starts a new school year and, despite the defection of her best friend (Russell), a scenario that never convinces, begins to blossom.

All that's needed to make us rush for another box of tissues is a tragic ending, although what we get is so glutinous you just want to look away.

The actors of these too-good-to-be-true characters keep stiff upper lips and are surely, the juveniles especially, destined to find better scripts to properly showcase their talents.

David Quinlan

USA 2017. UK Distributor: LionsGate. Colour (unspecified).
113 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 25 Nov 2017