A Wrinkle in Time
Director: Ava DuVernay (Selma)
Screenplay: Jennifer Lee, Jeff Stockwell, based upon the novel by Madeleine L’Engle
Cast: Storm Reid (12 Years a Slave), Oprah Winfrey (The Color Purple)
Runtime: 1 hr 49 min
by John DeSando
I’m always in favor of a good lesson for kids wrapped in an adventure, no matter how out there it might be. The astral travel in A Wrinkle in Time is where teen Meg (Storm Reid) must go through a portal to find her scientist father. He’s been gone for 4 years, having discovered that portal as physicist and entered it, foolish dad to abandon family just to go where no man has ever gone before.
Unfortunately, Meg’s coming of age as she travels with wunderkind little brother, Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), and high school chum Calvin (Leo lookalike Levi Miller), never involves defining challenges but rather just murky CGI and an evil force straight out of Arrival’s Rorschach alien. While we hear about her need to have more confidence and be more aggressive, when she finally achieves those, the film is almost over, and the transforming beats are not obvious anyway.
Even the “Which’s” interstellar guides, play by Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling, are unimpressive personalities with equally unimpressive costumes. While they might be a cross between the benign Glinda of Oz and the three witches of Shakespeare on Prozac, they are not seminal to Meg’s development or the plot’s.
I can advise Oprah to slink back to her kingdom and Pine to go back to his starship. As for you, audience, I advise you to avoid this clunker and see The Shape of Water. No, that’s not kids ‘stuff, but maybe that’s all for the good. As Oprah’s Mrs. Which intones, “Trust nothing.” Trust not this film to do justice to Ms. Lengle’s original.
John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts WCBE’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics. Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.rr.com