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Starring: Florence Pugh, Tom Burke, Niamh Algar, Josie Walker, Elaine Cassidy, Kíla Lord Cassidy, Toby Jones, Dermot Crowley, Brían F. O’Byrne, Ciarán Hinds
OUR RATING: ★★★★☆
Netflix period mystery drama directed and co-written by Sebastián Lelio. Set in The Irish Midlands in 1862, The Wonder (2022) follows Anna O’Donnell (Kíla Lord Cassidy), a young girl whose Catholic family claim she has eaten nothing since her eleventh birthday. English nurse Lib Wright (Florence Pugh) is brought to the village to observe her, who then end up transforming each other’s lives.
Our Favorite Quotes:'We are nothing without stories.' - Kitty O'Donnell (The Wonder) Click To Tweet
Kitty O’Donnell: This is the beginning. The beginning of a film called The Wonder. The people you are about to meet, the characters, believe in their stories with complete devotion. We are nothing without stories. And so we invite you to believe in this one.
Kitty O’Donnell: It is 1862. We left England, bound for Ireland. The Great Famine still casts a long shadow, and the Irish hold England responsible for that devastation. There sits a nurse. An English nurse, traveling all on her own. And it’s with her, we begin.
Sean Ryan: You’ll be the English nurse.
Lib Wright: Will I?
Sean Ryan: Well, I’m due a nun and a nurse, and you’re not the nun.
Lib Wright: No.
Lib Wright: You’ve been blessed with many daughters, Mrs. Ryan.
Maggie Ryan: Only that one’s mine. The other blessings belonged to the first Mrs. Ryan. I’d call it “tricked”.
Lib Wright: May I ask, gentlemen? No one has told me what precisely is wrong with the girl.
John Flynn: Nothing at all.
Lib Wright: Very well. I shall return to my post in England.
Father Thaddeus: Anna O’Donnell doesn’t eat.
John Flynn: The girl has lived miraculously without food since her 11th birthday.
Sean Ryan: “Miraculously” is not how she’s done it.
Sir Otway: The purpose of the watch is to determine exactly how Anna O’Donnell has survived with no food.
Lib Wright: So you want us to watch her?
Sir Otway: Yes.
Lib Wright: How long exactly has it been since the last time the girl ate?
Dr. McBrearty: Four months.
Lib Wright: That’s impossible.
Lib Wright: [referring to Anna] And I assume she’s bedridden?
Dr. McBrearty: Better not to assume.
Visitor: [referring to Anna] She’s a jewel. A wonder.
Lib Wright: You seem well, Anna. Are you nervous at all?
Anna O’Donnell: Why should I be nervous?
Lib Wright: Do you know why I’m here?
Anna O’Donnell: To make sure I don’t eat.
Lib Wright: I’m here to watch. Not prevent you from eating.
Lib Wright: Do you know the dangers of a prolonged fast, Anna?
Anna O’Donnell: I don’t need to eat. I live on manna. From Heaven.
Lib Wright: And how does that feel?
Anna O’Donnell: Full.
'It's a great privilege, being with people at the end. They talk. They tell their stories.' - Lib Wright (The Wonder) Click To Tweet
Lib Wright: I’ve been summoned all the way here to offer my professional opinion on a girl who could be somehow having food secretly shoveled into her mouth.
Sean Ryan: Well, that sounds about right.
Lib Wright: What kind of backwards village imports a professional nurse for something like this?
Sean Ryan: “Backwards village”. Didn’t you nurse in the Crimea?
Lib Wright: That’s exactly my point, Mr. Ryan. This has nothing to do with nursing.
Sean Ryan: You’re being paid handsomely to sit on your backside for a fortnight.
Sean Ryan: [to Lib] Prove it’s nonsense then. Prove it’s nonsense, then f*** off home.
Anna O’Donnell: The mystic marriage of St. Catherine and the baby Jesus. He gave her a wedding ring, but only she could see it. Anyone can be chosen. Saints or sinners.
Anna O’Donnell: Does your family call you Elizabeth? Or Eliza? Or maybe Betty?
Lib Wright: They don’t call me anything. I don’t have a family anymore.
Dr. McBrearty: Doesn’t look like a child who’s not eaten in four months, does she?
Rosaleen O’Donnell: Indeed.
Dr. McBrearty: How strongly the vital force burns.
Dr. McBrearty: What if Anna is drawing on some nutritive force we don’t yet understand?
Lib Wright: Such as?
Dr. McBrearty: Well, magnetism, perhaps? Molecules of scent?
Will Byrne: [to Lib as she’s eating] Are you eating for the patient as well as yourself?
Will Byrne: Perhaps I could interview you instead? The Nightingale who’s come to watch over her.
Lib Wright: I would never speak about a patient. And certainly not to a journalist.
Will Byrne: I’ll have you know, I’ve written for dozens of publications, all over.
Lib Wright: So you’d write anything for a shilling.
Will Byrne: What else has brought you across the sea to play jailer to a child?
Kitty O’Donnell: I dig up turf, and you dig up the truth.
Lib Wright: That’s exactly right.
Kitty O’Donnell: You see, you also need your stories. You write them down in that little notebook of yours.
Lib Wright: Thank you.
Kitty O’Donnell: It’s quite the bible you got going.
'Love requires some action, some intervention, at some point.' - Lib Wright (The Wonder) Click To Tweet
Lib Wright: If you make up names for me, I’m going to have to do the same for you.
Anna O’Donnell: Good morning, Lizzie?
Lib Wright: Should I call you Annie? Or Annabelle? Hannah, perhaps?
Anna O’Donnell: But then I’d be someone else, not me.
Anna O’Donnell: Sorrow is God’s spade.
Lib Wright: What does that mean?
Anna O’Donnell: It readies the ground.
Lib Wright: Can I tell you something? My mother used to call me Lib.
Anna O’Donnell: Lib. Mrs. Lib.
Lib Wright: [referring to Anna] Have you seen anything?
Sister Michael: There’s been nothing to see.
Anna O’Donnell: [referring to Lib going to war] What was it like?
Lib Wright: It was difficult. I was tending to soldiers. Men who’d seen awful things. Who’d done awful things.
'All over the empire, are not children left to lie down and die in ditches and gutters every night of the year? It is a whole sorrowful world that's too hungry to see the wonder in every ordinary child.' Click To Tweet
Lib Wright: It’s a great privilege, being with people at the end. They talk. They tell their stories.
Anna O’Donnell: The souls in Purgatory have to be burned for a while, to clean them. But the souls in Hell have to be burned forever.
Lib Wright: Surely your brother’s in Heaven, Anna?
Anna O’Donnell: We can’t know that, Mrs. Lib.