Review: A Wrinkle in Time

Be a warrior

Meg's (Storm Reid) father (Chris Pine) disappeared without a trace four years ago. Since then, she's no longer the top student she once was. She's angry, and nothing makes sense. Strange things start happening when her younger brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) introduces her and her friend Calvin (Levi Miller) to three women they've never seen before. Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey) Their father is alive and they must cross through time and space to reach him.

I never read the beloved book, but I still wanted to see this. I love director Ava DuVernay and I wanted to see how she handles a potential block buster like this. It's also nice sometimes to not have the written word to compare it too. Unfortunately, even going in without knowing the story didn't stop the glaring issues.

First thing, I love the story. I really do, it's inspiring to see a young girl be in touch with herself, acknowledge her faults, and use all of that to save others. I found that aspect very moving. What doesn't help this already strong story is the dialogue. It's full of platitudes and the side characters like the bully, the principle, the teachers, they're all caricatures. Maybe this is the fault of the book, but I found myself rolling my eyes often whenever one of them had lines. But that's not even the worst part.

It's the actors. I'm not sure what happened here. Ava's directed excellent performances out of so so material before in Selma, but I felt like no direction was given to the child actors in this film. Storm Reid is good for the most part. I can't wait to see her in something again because I think she'll have a long career. But at the beginning, she's only given "stoic" just as Miller feels like he's only been given "obsessed." Calvin spends the entire film looking madly in love with Meg, which is fine but I've seen this kid emote before, he should've been given more. On the flip side, McCabe should've been toned down. He is completely over the top and cringeworthy to watch. I've also never been this annoyed with hearing a character's name since "Jeliza-Rose" in Tideland. My God. I never want to hear the name "Charles Wallace" again. 

I don't know how I would've felt about this film having read the novel first. But right now, I'm disappointed because I wanted so desperately to love this. I liked the cast, and Disney usually has a good hand on these things. When I asked my son if he liked this film as we left the theater, he responded with "It's fine, but I don't want to watch it again." This is after begging to see it. I guess we were both underwhelmed.

Recommended: No

Grade: C-

Memorable Quote: "That's right, your beautiful faults." - Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon)

8 comments:

  1. I had thoughts about seeing it as I do like the 2 films of Ava DuVernay that I've seen but I was iffy about some of the visuals and the story. Sucks that it's disappointing though I hope it doesn't put her off into helming big-budget films though I prefer having her do smaller films.

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    1. I hope ot doesn't either but I'm still so annoyed with this.

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  2. I wanted to see this because of the visuals, but I'm not totally sold on this based on the trailer. I'd still watch this, though it might not be a priority as of the moment. I wanted this to be good, but I'm going to lower my expectations.

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    1. Lower expectations are better, I'm glad I saw a few reactions prior to going in.

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  3. I liked this a little bit more than you (I'd grade it a B-/C+), but I LOVED the kid playing Charles Wallace. Everything after he turned evil was pure camp and I was laughing my ass off. I mean, I'm pretty sure that wasn't what they were going for, but I loved it anyway. My biggest issue with the film itself was that a lot of it felt rushed - I literally blurted out "she found her Dad ALREADY?!?" and "he's been trapped there for four years and she takes him out JUST LIKE THAT?!?" But I feel like kids (who are the intended audience, after all) wouldn't necessarily have that problem, and the message is such a good one.

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    1. Oh god, I about lost it when that started. It was too much lol. The look on my husband's face during it was hilarious though, I'm surprised he didn't serve me divorce papers for making him go to that with us.

      She did find her dad really quickly, I wasn't sure if that happened in the book too or not.

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  4. Nice review! I haven't read the book, but it's a shame that after so many years the movie is a bit of a letdown for fans. I truly wanted to see this but caught a ten-minute sneak peek, and that was about as much as I could take - the kids were good enough but I couldn't stand Reese and Oprah. The platitudes felt very forced. Maybe Ava will have better luck with the DC movie she just landed...

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    1. They really weren't given anything to do. I liked Mindy the best out of those three.

      I'm not sure that "luck" and "DC" go together. lol

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