Movie Review: A Wrinkle in Time
A Wrinkle in Time, based on the novel of the same name by Madeleine L’Engle, is Disney’s most recent theatrical release. It was directed by Ava DuVernay, the visionary director behind 2014’s Selma, and it was written by Jennifer Lee and Jeff Stockwell. The film follows a middle school girl named Meg Murry, who sets off to find her father with the help of three supernatural beings. The film stars Storm Reid as the character of Meg with Deric McCabe playing her younger brother, Charles Wallace, and Levi Miller portraying her schoolmate, Calvin. Some of the other supporting cast is comprised of Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
The film begins with the character of Meg as a young child, spending time with her father, Dr. Alex Murry (Pine). After establishing their connection and the upcoming adoption of her little brother, the film jumps to the present day. In this time, Meg and her younger brother, Charles Wallace, are missing their father. Due to his disappearance over the past four years, Meg is picked on at school and struggles with her self worth. Meg and her family have an interesting encounter with a Mrs. Whatsit, who mentions the term tesseract. From there, Charles Wallace introduces Meg and her classmate, Calvin, to a woman named Mrs. Who as well. The three children soon find themselves tasked with a journey across the universe to find the missing Dr. Murry.
There are a few things that A Wrinkle in Time does extremely well, and I definitely want to highlight those things first. First of all, the visuals for this film are dazzling, and the worlds they visit on their journey are breathtaking at moments. Besides being visual appealing in that way, I also have to comment on the costuming as well. The numerous outfits for Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Which are beautiful and add to the whimsical nature of the film. I also believe that the heart of the movie is positive and is an uplifting tale aimed at young girls about embracing who they are, faults and all. All of these things are to the film’s credit; however, the beats of the film are admittedly a bit of a mess. There are moments when the film greatly drags, and there are moments when the pacing and placement of certain scenes seems odd. The movie also seems to shift perspective at some point, abandoning the science that was such an intriguing concept. I was also personally a little disappointed by the limited involvement of the beings who guide the children on their journey.
One of the things that helps hold up the movie, though, is the fantastic cast that DuVernay has assembled. While the adults of the film do a fine job with their supporting roles, it is truly the younger cast members who shine. Storm Reid gives such an excellent performance as Meg, and I think she portrayed perfectly the insecurities that all of us face. Levi Miller gave a great performance as the kind-hearted Calvin, but it is perhaps Deric McCabe who steals the show. I feel it’s difficult for a nine-year-old to play such a complex character and completely deliver on the precociousness of Charles Wallace. McCabe does it beautifully, though, and the combination of these three makes the journey worth watching.
While A Wrinkle in Time has its fair share of problems, I think that is has an excellent message for younger audiences about embracing who you are. I will say that I think it’s a movie that children will primarily enjoy. It’s fantastical in nature, and the coloring as well as the imagination required should make it an entertaining watch for kids. Maybe I have become too accustomed to Pixar films that appeal to both adults and children, but I struggled to engage with the film throughout the course of the story. The visuals make it an adventure suitable for the big screen, but in my opinion, A Wrinkle in Time can wait to be seen in the comfort of your own home.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.