A Wrinkle in Time
Starring: Storm Reid, Deric McCabe, Levi Miller, Reese Witherspoon, Oprah, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris Pine, Zach Galifianakis
Directed by: Ava DuVernay
Written by: Jennifer Lee, Jeff Stockwell
Adapted from the Book: A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Review by Stephanie Cooke
I’ve had a feeling for a while that A Wrinkle in Time was going to be exceptional. From the cast, to the director, to the book that the whole thing is based on by Madeleine L’Engle, I’ve been excited about this project for ages. That feeling stays with me until I’m at the theatre about to watch the film when panic sets in that says “What if this disappoints me?” I guess at the end of the day, so what if a film disappoints you? It’s just a film, right?
A Wrinkle in Time, however, is not JUST a film. The book is beloved to countless people around the world. If there’s one book that kids read growing up (besides Harry Potter), it’s A Wrinkle in Time. The film had so much to live up to and with a WOC director and POC cast that people at times felt was controversial (not me, for the record…), lots of people have been watching and waiting to see how it would be received.
For those not already in the know, A Wrinkle in Time follows the story of Meg Murry, her brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin. Meg and Charles Wallace’s father has been missing for four long years that’s had its impact on the family. When three mysterious women show up (Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which) and tell the children that they can help them find him. They take the opportunity not realizing that it’ll take them across the universe on an epic adventure.
Sounds great, right? Let’s jump in.
A Wrinkle in Time was a vision. A beautiful vision that came to life and hit every note that it should’ve. I enjoyed it so very much and was a bundle of emotions for the entire time.
This is one of the rare films where I like the movie adaptation more than the source material. I know this might be a tad blasphemous for some people, but the film manages to sum up much of the book series (not just the first novel) to tell a complete story that felt satisfying whole. The books are great, but as a series, they feel as though you need to continue reading to get the bigger picture. There was a little room left for more in A Wrinkle in Time (the film), but I don’t think there needs to be more.
Storm Reid is a vision. Nearly every time she was on screen, she evokes so much emotion that I was damn well near tears for the entire time. Reid is picture perfect as her character works to embrace her flaws, come to terms with herself, and make her family whole again. Not only does she bring the character of Meg to life but she does her justice and then some.
At times the film is a tad on the cheesy side, and the initial over-the-top acting from Witherspoon took me out of things a bit. Ditto a bit on Mindy Kaling, who I love but just didn’t quite work for me in the film. I think she did the best she could but her character felt like Mindy Kaling in lavish makeup and costumes.
That being said, both Witherspoon and Kaling’s performances do not detract from the overall film. They give things a little bit more of a whimsical, lighthearted feeling that I think kids will really eat up.
Oprah is an ethereal goddess. Honestly, I saw her on screen and thought to myself, “That’s just Oprah in her final form.” She was stunning but radiated warmth, love, and knowledge. There are some things that you can’t simply do as an actor. I’m here to tell you: OPRAH IS A SUPERNATURAL BEING OF LIGHT, Y’ALL. I’m like, 83% sure she already had those dresses lying around for when she finally unveiled her true self.
There’s music interspersed within the film by big pop star names which felt out of place to me, especially when you have someone like Ramin Djawadi producing the original score. Let the man work, Disney. He doesn’t need you to include pop star monsters to make the music of the film standout. He’s great at what he does. I wish that they’d trusted him a bit more to let the music flow better. I understand why they did it (because… Disney) but yeah. They definitely could’ve downplayed a lot of the soundtrack stuff a bit. The soundtrack stuff isn’t bad, but I would’ve liked to feel the presence of the score more.
I have no doubt in my mind that Ava DuVernay made exactly the film that she wanted to make with a beautiful and talented cast, stunning makeup and costumes, and such a powerfully perfect message.
I truly wish that I had a film like A Wrinkle in Time for when I was growing up. A film that taught me it was okay to be different and to not fit in. I wish there were more films that showed love in such an exceptional and unconditional way. I wish there had been more, but I hope this is the beginning of a glorious change for the future.
Watch it! A Wrinkle in Time is wholeheartedly wonderful and not to be missed. Support this film that celebrates diversity and love. Tell Hollywood that we need more of this in the world.
Representation matters. With A Wrinkle in Time following up Black Panther at the box office, it’s a glorious time for children everywhere who get to see people who look like them on the big screen in blockbuster films.