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Review: A Wrinkle In Time

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A WRINKLE IN TIME

**

DIRECTED BY Ava DuVernay

STARS Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon


A literary classic becomes a cinematic clunker with A Wrinkle in Time, the ambitious but ultimately disappointing adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s lovely 1962 novel.

Remaining faithful enough to the plot of the book, this screen version finds Meg Murry (Storm Reid), still understandably upset over the disappearance of her scientist father (Chris Pine) four years earlier, being handed an opportunity to locate him thanks to the involvement of three celestial beings. Introduced to Meg and her friend Calvin (Levi Miller) by her younger brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), the trio of Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) informs the children that Dr. Murry vanished upon discovering that the fabric of time and space can fold on itself.

But Dr. Murry is now being held prisoner by an evil interstellar entity known simply as “It,” and with the members of The Losers’ Club off in their own movie, it’s up to these comparable outcasts to save the day – and the universe.

Ava DuVernay, who earned an Oscar nomination for the mesmerizing documentary 13th and should have earned one for the powerful drama Selma, seems paralyzed with reverence for the source material, as her direction is atypically muted and her set-pieces alarmingly flat.

For a film that traffics in imagination and phantasmagorical sights, A Wrinkle in Time is surprisingly cumbersome in its visual splendor, with much of the film caught in a chokehold that’s mercilessly being applied by impersonal and deadening visual effects.

Worse, most of the actors are urged to deliver their dialogue in monotonous rather than melodious waves, none more so than poor Storm Reid. Winfrey sounds like she’s already practicing for a presidential run, speaking her words in measured and drowsy tones, while Kaling’s Mrs. Who barely registers as a character.

Only Witherspoon seems to be having any fun in her role, providing the picture with some much-needed pep (and until his character turns into a more verbose version of Pet Sematary’s Gage in the third act, McCabe also adds some life to the proceedings with his boyish enthusiasm).

A Wrinkle in Time is recommended for children, who will enjoy its colorful palette and benefit from its messages involving individuality, self-worth, anti-bullying, and other notable pursuits. But for the adults who accompany them, their only interest in Time will be in determining how much of it remains before the closing credits begin their roll.

Film Details A Wrinkle in Time

Meg Murry is a typical middle school student struggling with issues of self-worth who just wants to fit in. The daughter of two world-renowned physicists, she is intelligent and uniquely gifted, as is Meg's younger brother, Charles Wallace, but she has yet to realize it for herself. Complicating matters is the mysterious disappearance of Mr. Murry, which has left Meg devastated and her mother broken-hearted. Charles Wallace introduces Meg and her fellow classmate Calvin to three celestial beings (Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who) who have journeyed to Earth to help search for their father, and together they embark on their formidable quest. Travelling via a wrinkling of time and space known as tessering, they are transported to worlds beyond their imagination where they must confront a powerful evil force. To make it back home to Earth, Meg must face the darkness within herself in order to harness the strength necessary to defeat the darkness rapidly enveloping the Universe.

Action/Adventure
Film Details A Wrinkle in Time: An IMAX 3D Experience

Meg Murry is a typical middle school student struggling with issues of self-worth who just wants to fit in. The daughter of two world-renowned physicists, she is intelligent and uniquely gifted, as is Meg's younger brother, Charles Wallace, but she has yet to realize it for herself. Complicating matters is the mysterious disappearance of Mr. Murry, which has left Meg devastated and her mother broken-hearted. Charles Wallace introduces Meg and her fellow classmate Calvin to three celestial beings (Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who) who have journeyed to Earth to help search for their father, and together they embark on their formidable quest. Travelling via a wrinkling of time and space known as tessering, they are transported to worlds beyond their imagination where they must confront a powerful evil force. To make it back home to Earth, Meg must face the darkness within herself in order to harness the strength necessary to defeat the darkness rapidly enveloping the Universe.

Action/Adventure and SciFi/Fantasy
Film Details A Wrinkle in Time in Disney Digital 3D

Meg Murry is a typical middle school student struggling with issues of self-worth who just wants to fit in. The daughter of two world-renowned physicists, she is intelligent and uniquely gifted, as is Meg's younger brother, Charles Wallace, but she has yet to realize it for herself. Complicating matters is the mysterious disappearance of Mr. Murry, which has left Meg devastated and her mother broken-hearted. Charles Wallace introduces Meg and her fellow classmate Calvin to three celestial beings (Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who) who have journeyed to Earth to help search for their father, and together they embark on their formidable quest. Travelling via a wrinkling of time and space known as tessering, they are transported to worlds beyond their imagination where they must confront a powerful evil force. To make it back home to Earth, Meg must face the darkness within herself in order to harness the strength necessary to defeat the darkness rapidly enveloping the Universe.

Action/Adventure, Family and SciFi/Fantasy
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Trailer

Related Film

Official Site: movies.disney.com/a-wrinkle-in-time

Director: Ava DuVernay

Writer: Madeleine L'Engle

Cast: Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Pena, Levi Miller, Deric McCabe, Zach Galifianakis, Chris Pine and Storm Reid

Related Film

Official Site: movies.disney.com/a-wrinkle-in-time

Director: Ava DuVernay

Writer: Madeleine L'Engle

Cast: Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Reese Witherspoon, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Peña and André Holland

Related Film

Official Site: movies.disney.com/a-wrinkle-in-time

Director: Ava DuVernay

Writer: Jennifer Lee

Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña and Levi Miller

Related Film

Official Site: movies.disney.com/a-wrinkle-in-time

Director: Ava DuVernay

Writer: Madeleine L'Engle

Cast: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, Zach Galifianakis and Michael Pena

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