The Netflix film The Wonder, directed by Sebastián Lelio, is set in 1862 and is based on the 2016 book of the same name by Emma Donoghue. The film follows a young nurse named Elizabeth Lib Wright who comes to an Irish village to take care of herself to take care of a girl named Anna O’Donnell. Her religious family claims she has not eaten for four months, and Anna herself says she is staying alive because she is taking manna from heaven. As Lib forms a bond with Anna, whom she affectionately calls Nan, she realizes that all is not as it seems. The nurse teams up with William Byrne, a local journalist, to help Anna while those around her persist in their belief in God.
It stars Florence Pugh, Kíla Lord Cassidy and Tom Burke. The film tackles several groundbreaking issues such as sexual harassment, misogyny and overzealousness. The characters and the plot captivate the audience, which leads to a happy ending for the protagonists. If you’ve just seen Sebastián Lelio’s directorial work and are looking for something similar, these 8 films might be for you. You can watch most of these movies similar to The Wonder on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
8. Lady Macbeth (2016)
If you enjoyed Florence Pugh’s work in the Netflix film, then Lady Macbeth will surely keep you entertained. Directed by William Oldroyd, the film tells the story of Katherine Lester and how she feels trapped in her loveless marriage. When her husband and father-in-law leave the family home, Katherine gets a taste of the freedom imposed on her by the restrictions placed on her. Slowly but surely, Katherine takes back the reins of her life and tries to find the love she desperately seeks. But their plans soon take a fatal turn and make for a captivating story. Set in England in 1865, the film has similar themes to The Wonder and is set in the same time period.
7. A Dangerous Method (2011)
Starring Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender, A Dangerous Mind is a historical drama that tells the story of some of the most notable names in the field of psychology. The year is 1904, and Sabina Spielrein has just been committed to the psychiatric institution run by a young Swiss doctor named Carl Jung. Spielrein soon develops a keen interest in psychology and begins to learn from Jung. Psychologists Sigmund Freud and Otto Gross play a crucial role in Spielrein’s development as a doctor and in her relationship with Jung. The films are based on true events and provide an insight into the early 20th century psychology industry and the treatment of women with mental health issues. If the psychological aspect of The Wonder coupled with its outspoken portrayal of serious issues has piqued your interest, then this movie starring Keira Knightley could be for you!
6. Girl, Interrupted (1999)
Girl, Interrupted is set in 1967 and follows Susanna Kaysen, who is committed to a psychiatric hospital after suffering a nervous breakdown and overdosing on aspirin and alcohol. Although initially reluctant to be a patient, she soon joins forces with other patients who are struggling with their own mental health issues. Over time, the women try to help each other while submitting to the strict regime of the doctors and nurse. But the road to recovery is anything but easy and soon takes a dark turn. Starring Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie, the film is based on true events and tackles issues of mental health and sexual harassment in a manner similar to The Wonder. The female solidarity shown in the 1999 film might also appeal to those who liked the connection between Lib and Anna.
5. Black Swan (2010)
If you’re looking for a gripping psychological film centered around a female protagonist, Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan might be just the ticket. Starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey and Winona Ryder, the film presents the compelling story of Nina Sayers, a ballerina who becomes lost in the world of her own imagination and hallucinations after winning the lead role in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake was cast. In addition to the dangerous aspects of psychological trauma, the film also addresses issues such as sexual harassment and self-harm. The shared subject matter of Darren Aronofsky’s directorial work and The Wonder is sure to captivate fans of The Wonder.
Pablo Larraín’s Spencer combines history and psychology to tell the story of Diana, Princess of Wales. Set during the 1991 Christmas holiday, the film follows Diana’s life as a member of the royal family, her marital difficulties and her deteriorating mental health. Throughout the film, we see the princess doing her best to maintain friendly relationships with others while her ghost gives her various hallucinations, in which she often harms herself or others. Given Princess Diana’s popularity and exploring her mind as part of the British royal family, Spencer addresses several issues, such as eating disorders and psychological trauma, which are also found in The Wonder.
3. Room (2015)
If you liked The Wonder’s storytelling style, then you might like Room. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, it bears the same name as Emma Donoghue’s 2010 novel, and the author also wrote the book on which The Wonder is based. Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay star in the lead roles. The film revolves around a young woman named Joy Newsome and her son Jack. The duo are held captive in a room by a man named Old Nick, and Joy is repeatedly attacked by a man who is also Jack’s biological father. Slowly, Joy decides to tell Jack more about the outside world she was abducted from and the little boy gets curious. After much effort, the two manage to escape, but adjusting to the real world proves more difficult than expected. With themes of motherhood, entanglement and sexual abuse, Room is sure to appeal to fans of The Wonder as well.
2. Hunger (2008)
‘Hunger’ is a historical film set in Ireland in the 1980’s. With tensions rising between Irish nationalists and British loyalists in Northern Ireland, conditions in the region’s prisons and the treatment of prisoners were far from ideal. To improve the lives of inmates, Bobby Sands led a prison hunger strike that shook the establishment to its core and paved the way for a better future. The concept of food sacrifice is something the film shares with The Wonder. Coupled with the fact that both films are set in Ireland, we’re sure Hunger will bring a sense of familiarity to fans of Sebastián Lelio.
1. The Innocents (2016)
The French film The Innocents (also known as Les Innocentes) is based on true events and is set in Warsaw, Poland, in the post-WWII era. Mathilde Beaulieu, a young medical student serving in the army, is approached by a nun named Sister Teresa. The nun tells Mathilde that there are sick women in her convent who are not exactly happy about being referred to the Polish Red Cross. At a meeting with the nuns, Mathilde learns that the nuns are not suffering from an illness but are pregnant after being attacked by Soviet Union soldiers during the war. The conflict between humanity, religion, motherhood and society offers a heartbreaking story that is strikingly similar to the concepts in The Miracle.