Based upon the 1962 Madeleine L’Engle’ novel and starring Storm Reid and Deric McCabe, A Wrinkle in Time tells the story of Meg and Charles Wallace; two children trying to get to the bottom of their father’s disappearance. Meg and Charles Wallace’s father is a scientist who had been working on a way for humans to time/space/universe transport, who literally disappeared into thin air. The story begins four years later. Meg is still grieving the loss of her father, but has to deal with other problems as an awkward, misunderstood, withdrawn, bullied, teenager. Meg and Charles Wallace are then visited by three beings who lead them on a journey to find their father, and during this journey Meg finds herself.
I’ve never read this book. I’ve heard of it. I understand that it is a beloved childhood favorite to many. I grappled with the decision to read or not to not read the book(s) before the movie. In this instance, because I wanted to be able to watch the movie objectively and I wanted to see whether the movie inspired me to read the books, I chose not to. Another deciding factor in my decision to not read the book is that it is part of a series and I wasn’t willing to do that much homework for this one movie.
After seeing A Wrinkle in Time, I find myself inspired to read the books, and even better – I believe it will inspire children to want to read the book(s). (Now, whether or not I actually read the books is another question. I don’t think that will happen. The only time I felt the need to do homework on a movie by reading the book first thus far was for The Girl on the Train (2016) (here’s my review), and I regretted it. So… I don’t think I’ll be doing that again. On the same token, the only recent movie I’ve reviewed that inspired me to read the book , and I actually read it and loved them both, was A Man Called Ove (2016). (Here’s my review. If you haven’t seen it, I suggest you do. Tom Hanks is set to produce and star in the American remake sometimes within the next couple of years.))
I love that this movie re-imagined the book as this multicultural adventure. That’s the great thing about adapting movies from books. It is a creative process full of creative license that can be readjusted in vision, diversity, focus on themes; characters can be added or eliminated, so that the story can be modified to make it fit into the form of a film that works. This film works.
Oprah’s make up in this movie is incredible. I understand that her very presence annoys a lot of people, but: (a) this movie isn’t made for adults; and (b) to those of us to whom she is beloved, like myself… I want her bedazzled eyebrows for my next night out on the town. Period. Seriously. Reese Witherspoon did a great job. She had the most interesting part of the three deities, entities – whatever you want to call them. Mindy Kalig had the most challenging role of the three that just fell flat at times, unfortunately. The young stars carried the movie well and had adequate moments to shine.
The effects, costume design, hair, makeup, set design, lighting, camera work, cinematography, were all done well. I particularly loved the costume design for the deities.
The script is where the problems lie, as it is not consistently strong. There is a bit of cheesy dialogue and the character development could use some enrichment.
I enjoyed this movie because it enabled me to reconnect with my 8 to 12 year old self. I was totally into it and so enjoyed looking at a young main character who reminded me so much of my curly headed daughter in those awkward tween years. The glasses, the fabulous head of curly hair which she hated and learned to love, the insecurity, all mirrored how teens can sometimes feel and caused me to recall memories of those feelings of inadequacy; before I was mature enough to realize that I am enough. A Wrinkle in Time takes you on a journey of discovery that most young girls and boys go through and come out of the other side more confident, less innocent and more mature.
A Wrinkle in Time earned 7.5 bloops out of 10. It’s a solid film, worth seeing. It tackles themes associated with coming of age such as first love, self esteem, bullying, parent/child relationships and dynamics, children realizing parents are not perfect people and they make mistakes like everyone else, etc. It is also a great conversation starter for parents and their tweens. It may not be for you, particularly if you’ve lost touch with your 8 to 12 year old self, but your 8-12 year old children will most likely enjoy it.
Before I wrap this up, I have to discuss my movie-going experience here. It was the worst of my life; and I remember the days when people could smoke cigarettes in movie theaters – weed even, if we’re talking about 42nd Street. I’ve been to the movies where riots have broken out and it wasn’t this painful for me. My daughter strategically chose our seats before I arrived and they were THE wrong-est seats ever. Both seats on either side of her were empty when I arrived. I initially sat to her left. Whereupon there was a child of about 9 years of age, who couldn’t keep his feet off the back of my seat, despite his mother sitting directly next to him and watching him extend his legs so that his feet were in my back for the first half hour of the film. The seat to my left was empty at that time. Due to this untrained child’s behavior, I switched to the empty seat to the right of my daughter. Well, that proved to be a disaster as some muscle-bound caveman sat left-handedly eating his popcorn with a bubble coat on, raising his elbow higher and higher and closer and closer to my face as we went along. Also, parking his elbow inside the right side of my seat as if I was not even there, forcing me to lean left the entire time. When I had enough of that after assessing that this was a person who could not be reasoned with because he was too thick in the head, and because I was ready to punch him in the throat, I returned to the previous seat believing the seat kicker was the lesser of two evils. Not only did that brat keep kicking the back of my seat (There was like a full 45 minute reprieve where I guess the Little Darling was into the movie and forgot about irritating the lady in the seat in front of him as his jack ass of a mom looked on), but the empty seat to my left was occupied by a woman with an extraordinarily rotund behind who was with her man. Big Booty Judy felt as though the proper way to sit in a movie theater was up under her man’s armpit (like they were on the couch at home Netflixing and Chilling), which caused a twist of her ample backside, so that her left butt cheek was permanently placed against my thigh throughout the remainder of the movie. People. Please. Be respectful of others when you go to the movies. Teach your kids (and yourselves if it applies, because I’ve had adults seat kick me as well) to keep their feet on the floor! Stay in your own seat!!!! And that guy with the elbow problem made me imagine I could morph into the Hulk or something and just pound him down through the ground! Uuuuuuuuuugh. My pressure was high. It was worse than when I reviewed Sunset Song. (Here’s my review. At least this time the experience was terrible but the movie was enjoyable and at least the irritants in that case were elderly people, and I could cut them some slack.) The fact that I could enjoy this movie at all through all of these annoying distractions proved to me that this movie is absolutely worth a watch.
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1 = worst ever, avoid at all cost
2 = very bad, forget about it!
3 = poor movie, not recommended
4 = not good, even for free – NO!
5 = so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6 = not bad, could have been better
7 = good movie, worth seeing
8 = great movie, don’t miss it!
9 = excellent movie, a must see!
10 = a masterpiece, go see it now!
What I’m seeing/reviewing next…
Ready Player One
The Florida Project
Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World
The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist
Call Me By Your Name
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
The Big Sick
All Eyez on Me
It Comes at Night
The Wedding Plan
Kong: Skull Island
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
I Am Not Your Negro