A Wrinkle in Time takes a little while to get going, but once it does, the beautiful visuals and strong emotional through line make it more than worth a watch.
Director: Ava DuVernay
Summary: After the disappearance of her scientist father, three peculiar beings send Meg, her brother, and her friend to space in order to find him.
Some movies ask the audience to get into a certain head space to accept what is going on. For some, it’s accepting that maybe the laws of physics don’t apply, or a horror movie making you accept that the main characters are going to make stupid decisions for plot reasons. For A Wrinkle in Time, it means accepting a different way of looking at the world. Kids are not stupid, but they do look at the world differently. If you can get in that frame of mind, this movie is really going to work for you.
The story is lovely as we follow a young girl who is not a superhero or even a warrior but someone who is barely scraping by. Meg (Storm Reid) is relatable as she struggles with daily life since her father (Chris Pine) went missing. Anyone who went through trauma as a kid knows that it doesn’t always get easier as time goes on.
She is brought on an adventure to find her father with her child prodigy little brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) and friend from school Calvin (Levi Miller). They are aided by the three Mrs, who are all just fantastic. Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) is young and childlike with her flowing gowns and strips of brightly colored fabric. Mrs. Who (Mindy Kailing) who only speaks in quotes, and her beautiful outfits take inspiration from all corners of the globe. Finally, Mrs. Which (Oprah Whinfrey) — the strongest and oldest of them — wears silver and white, so she seems to shine at all times. They are beautiful and as they travel through the cosmos to different crazy worlds where everything is so bright and cheerful that it can almost feel like too much.
It’s just a shame that the movie takes so long to get there. There is a lot of time spent on setup, and it makes the first act seem very long while the second act seems to fly by with barely a backwards notice. The problem is that the second act is where we get to see the different worlds, so we don’t get enough of that. We spend a lot of time setting up Meg, her daily life, and her relationship with her father. However, Reid and Pine are so believable as father and daughter that it wasn’t really needed. It’s good that all three of the child actors are fantastic and very believable in their roles, so they aren’t ever terrible to watch. While it is important to build up Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin, some of their character work could have been done in one of the various spectacular locations. Then things wouldn’t feel like we were waiting so long for the movie to get going.
But once A Wrinkle in Time does get going, it’s lovely to watch. Director Ava DuVernay and her crew have built a beautiful world, and you can feel how much love and care went into this movie. The costumes and makeup work alone is fantastic, but the small details of the various worlds are just as great to watch. For the purists: there is a section of the book that is left out, but it doesn’t feel like a large section was cut. The way they connect the two moments feels fluid and probably the right decision considering it was little more than a detour. However, that scene could have been added if the first act was a little shorter — but that’s not the movie we got.
A Wrinkle in Time takes a little while to get going, but once the plot gets in motion it’s a beautiful sight to behold. The cast is fantastic, everything about this movie feels lovingly crafted, and it will leave you with a smile on your face.
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