Director: Ava DuVernay
Starring: Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Levi Miller, Deric McCabe, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris Pine
After the disappearance of her scientist father, three peculiar beings send Meg, her brother, and her friend to space in order to find him. (Source: IMDb)
A film with a young girl as the lead, plus a host of other strong female characters, and directed by Ava DuVernay? In many ways, A Wrinkle in Time feels like the film 2018 needs, a fantastical antidote to the current mess that is Hollywood. Also based on a beloved book, this film had an awful lot to accomplish, and whilst it may not deliver on all of its promises, there are some truly wonderful moments to be found within it that make it a movie worth your time.
Despite all the technical and scientific language, A Wrinkle in Time is a film which is not only accessible for children, but one which is important for them as well. It is worth remembering that children are the target audience for this film, and whilst the script is a little simplistic and the story lacking in depth, it achieves what it needs to do in creating a fantastical and imaginative world for kids to lose themselves in.
There is more to A Wrinkle in Time than just shallow entertainment however, and there were some surprisingly deep and important messages beneath the surface. The idea that the great evil of the film (referred to only as “The It”) is something which finds itself in everyday people and situations was very interesting. It is in the jealousy felt by those whose peers succeed over them, the bullying of an abusive father, and the toxic imagery of magazines that leads a young girl to believe she is overweight. It is a brief sequence and I fear it will get lost in everything else but it was incredibly profound. Whilst a little on the nose in the way it manifests, the idea that Meg (Reid) is also encouraged to use and embrace her flaws, is a wonderful message of positivity, not just for young girls.
As Meg, young actress Storm Reid gives a convincing performance and makes for a likeable heroine. The trio of Winfrey, Witherspoon, and Kaling have much less to do than perhaps you might hope. Their absence gave the character of Meg the chance to have a more clearly defined arc, but it was a shame to not see them used more.
I saw this movie and you should too. This film is by no means perfect, but for its target audience, it works. It would have been nice to have seen more made of the real-world and a little more set-up for the characters as it felt things moved very quickly in the beginning with few questions asked and a lack of key exposition. It is however beautiful to look at, and its empowering and positive message about embracing and using your faults, and love and light defeating hatred and darkness is one which makes it worth a watch.