Director: Ava Duvernay

Starring: Storm Reid, Deric McCabe, Levi Miller

Year: 2018

My daughter is 8, and when I went to the theatre with her to see A Wrinkle in Time, I knew that I was mostly going for her.  This was a film I wanted her to see, not only because she enjoyed the book, but because I knew the messages she was about to receive would be important ones.  A parent can tell their kid every day that they are proud of them, that they can do anything, but sometimes it takes a movie, a book, a friend, a magic moment, for that lesson to sink in.  Ava Devernay’s version is a broadcast to the young; that they are special, that they are strong, that they can change the future, that there is beauty in this weird world, that faults don’t have to be defeats.  All this I wholly support, I only wish I had more positives to share with you.  Other than the CGI, there are none, and when I watched the movie as a critic instead of as a parent, I saw cinema that was shockingly bad.

Meg Murray’s father went missing four years ago, and she has never been able to move on with her life.  He was a scientist, a man obsessed with changing the way humans thought about time, space, and reality.  His experiments led him to some amazing discoveries, but they also whisked him away to another part of the universe, a place from which he could not return.  Now Meg is alone with her mother and little brother, a broken family who can’t put the pieces back together, Meg turning more and more inward until she begins to hate the world outside herself.  Her brother, Charles Wallace, is a genius, and when he introduces her to three women who he calls the Mrs., they both understand that their former life is about to dramatically change.  They begin a journey to find their father, along with a new friend named Calvin, traveling to places that they never could have dreamed of and seeing things that defy convention.

I would spend more time on the positives  before I got to the negatives, but I need to save space for all the things that are terrible about this movie, because the list is long.  But I would like to reiterate that there are reasons to go see this film, especially for kids, and especially with their parents, because they should hear what Ava has to say and we should be there to support them.  Speaking of Duvernay, she has only directed a few features, and only one is a drama that got any sort of attention; Selma.  Not only is that an excellent film, but she sculpted it expertly, though she received very little credit for the great work she did.  I’m excited for her career, it’s important that a black woman is becoming a household name out of white male Hollywood, but this movie is simply a bad showing that offers almost nothing else.

The kids are terrible, even understanding that they’re just kids and that they can’t be compared to seasoned actors.  Meg is constantly pouting, Calvin just stands there awkwardly most of the time, and Charles Wallace can’t help but use the annoying voice with the high vocabulary that we’ve seen a million times and which has bothered us every single one.  Then there are the Mrs., and they are even worse.  Oprah can’t act, Mindy seems like she was dropped on the set without her script, and Reese is distractingly chipper.  The side actors I didn’t mind, but they were all too infrequent to make a difference: Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Pena, Andre Holland.  The entire film was like an episode of Wishbone, but far worse, like they gave millions of dollars to PBS and asked them to adapt a sci-fi book in four days.  The action was silly, the dialogue was abysmal; I really think A Wrinkle in Time might be one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, at least one that had an actual budget, cast, and director.  Everything went wrong, and if it weren’t for the underlying importance to the tale, I’d be inclined to give this version negative stars.

My rating: ☆



By ochippie

Writer, Critic, Dad Columbus, Ohio, USA Denver Broncos, St. Louis Cardinals Colorado Avalanche, Duke Blue Devils