A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

A Wrinkle in Time
Director: Ava DuVernay
Writer: Jennifer Lee, Jeff Stockwell
Based on: Madeleine L’Engle’s novel
Cast: Storm Reid, Levi Miller, Deric McCabe, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Peña, André Holland, Rowan Blanchard, Bellamy Young, David Oyelowo
Seen on: 22.3.2021

Meg Murry (Storm Reid) is an unusual child from an unusual family. Her mother (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is a scientist, as is her father (Chris Pine) – who has been missing for a while. He was working on tesseracts when he just disappeared. Meg’s genius little brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) seems to know more about it. And he has made some strange friends who know even more than that: Mrs Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs Which (Oprah Winfrey). The three women prompt Meg, Charles Wallace and Meg’s class mate Calvin (Levi Miller) to go looking for her father – all through the universe.

I was rather disappointed when A Wrinkle in Time never got a big cinema release here in Austria, and I still think I would have appreciated seeing it on the big screen – the film is at its best, after all, when it just creates visuals. Other than those, it is very fine, but not great.

The film poster showing the main characters arranged in a circle.

I don’t think L’Engle’s books are a big thing here in Austria. I certainly never heard of them or read them until I heard about the film (and then I only read the first novel in the Quintet). So that may be the reason why the film didn’t get a big release here, despite the cast. In any case, seeing it at home was a definite pity, because the film is beautiful to look at, especially in the beginning when things are still fun and breezy, before they get really dark.

Oh, and the costumes of the three Mrsses are simply stunning. For them and Red (Michael Peña) – probably my favorite cameo moment. Not only for his suit that I kinda want to wear myself, but because I love Peña in general. The Mrsses, of course, get more time and more costumes, and I want to marry Mrs Who’s wardrobe. Maybe while wearing Red’s suit. Ahem.

Meg (Storm Reid) reaching for Mrs Which (Oprah Winfrey) as she tries to balance on a stone.

Back to the film. It’s not that it is bad, definitely not. But it feels a little too toothless and standardized to be engaging. Everything happens as you expect it to happen, with all the messages you’d expect and I was just hoping for a little more. Maybe I expected too much because DuVernay’s other films were way above average. But then they are very different from this film.

A Wrinkle in Time is a good watch. I was engaged, I enjoyed myself. I just didn’t love it. You, and especially kids, could love it, though – and it is definitely worth seeing, for the costumes and the cast and for showing a Black girl going on an adventure through the universe.

Meg (Storm Reid) and Calvin (Levi Miller) in a forest.

Summarizing: Good.

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