'A Wrinkle in Time', made for the child in you


If you're interested in seeing A Wrinkle in Time (opening March 9, 2018) on the big screen, make plans to do so very quickly because I don't expect it to be in theatres very long at all.

On Metacritic, the film has a 55 per cent approval rating.

At first glance, the movie has everything going for it, an appealing cast, super sharp special effects and a popular story upon which to craft a script. There are occasional moments of inspiration and the visuals do impress, but one leaves the movie longing for a more emotional experience.

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Overall, the movie is being described as "visually gorgeous, big-hearted, and occasionally quite moving, but wildly ambitious to a fault", according to rottentomatoes. Sometimes you have too much material to work with. For now, the film is entering the world and could have a solid audience with kids. On the anniversary of his disappearance, Meg's gifted younger brother, Charles Wallace (another talented newcomer, Deric McCabe, who is very good at conveying the kind of joyous enthusiasm many label as "weird"), guides Meg and a classmate (Levi Miller) to a trio of cosmic beings, played by a chipper Reese Witherspoon, a reserved Mindy Kaling, and Oprah Winfrey, finally ascended to full-on godhood. "In this film, Meg is the leader of her crew".

She's a typical nerd. Before she can reunite her mom and dad, she must confront nearly unimaginable evil. But four years ago, their father (Chris Pine) disappeared mysteriously. Meg's classmate, Calvin (played by Levi Miller), follows the fearless Murry family along with the three fairies... From Wonder Woman's Chris Pine and The Office's Mindy Kaling to Baskets star Zach Galifianakis, the adaptation of the classic book of the same name has some big personalities as its legendary characters. But beyond Meg's handsome locks, the weirdo wigs (one appears to be an inert crimson fox perched on Witherspoon's head) and scary clothes, "A Wrinkle in Time" suggests a pop American version of those Narnia films, complete with allegorical lessons and the usual platitudes, including, ye gods, "Be true to yourself". Seeing a biracial Meg, as she is in the movie, must be powerful for the girls of today and the women whose fictional role models didn't look like them.

But the movie goes far beyond fantasy and sci-fi.

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Many prescreening viewers shared their disappointment in the film. The book is still out there for everyone to read: "Please do so", writes David Edelstein of NY magazine.

It takes L'Engle's challenging novel and dumbs it down, pushing out elements and themes that might prove hard or controversial or, perhaps, just not in step with the times. The casting of Oprah has become one of the most talked about elements of A Wrinkle in Time's overall ensemble, and it arguably makes flawless sense. The New York Times and Rolling Stone have both given the movie positive reviews. During her short speech at the screening, DuVernay also made mention of a similar project, The Neverending Story, and I remembered being equally confused and charmed by that particular flick as a child and as an adult.

You just have to believe.

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