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Wonderstruck

Director:  Todd Haynes
Year Released:  2017
Rating:  1.5

Two storylines involving hearing-impaired children are woven together: in the late 20's, a little deaf girl (Millicent Simmonds) ditches her nasty father (James Urbaniak) to go to NYC to be with her actress mother (Julianne Moore); in the late 70's, a motherless child (Oakes Fegley), who was struck by lightning and can't hear anymore, flees a hospital to find his Dad in the Big Apple. While Haynes relishes being able to play around with the visuals and dabble in stop motion and silent film-era aesthetics, the story lacks zip and urgency: the principal actors don't speak, so not much is known about their inner worlds, and despite being alone and at risk in a huge city, it never feels like they're ever really in danger. This probably worked better in Brian Selznick's illustrated novel (which I haven't read) than on the screen, although it does tie everything up delightfully - reliable Moore, who's been working with Haynes for decades, makes the finale that much sweeter.

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