A Wrinkle In Time: Let Ava DuVernay Direct Everything

A Wrinkle In Time/Walt Disney Pictures

Based on classic novel, A Wrinkle In Time may break the time-space continuum but there’s a lot of important life lessons at hand–none more important than to win against fear.

Middle school student Meg Murry  (Storm Reid) is struggling in school.  This isn’t so much because of her school work but because her father, Mr. Murry (Chris Pine) has been missing for four years now.  Nobody knows why he disappeared as he just vanished one day.  With two physicists as parents, there’s no doubt that she inherited their genius ability but all of it is beneath the surface just waiting to be unleashed.  Meanwhile, Meg’s younger brother, Charles Wallace, is easily the smartest person in his class.  Overhearing faculty members bad-mouthing both Meg and himself, he has no problem proclaiming out loud to the school just how smart Meg is.

Out of the blue, Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) arrives at the door.  This leads to Meg, Charles Wallace, and Meg’s friend, Calvin (Levi Miller), to have run-ins with Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey).  The three celestial beings find their way to Earth to help Meg and Charles Wallace find their dad.  They soon go on a journey across the galaxy traveling by way of what the film calls “tessering.”  As they search for Mr. Murray, viewers are introduced to The Happy Medium (Zach Galifianakis).  As they reach these worlds that are visually pleasing but light years away, it’s up to using their light in order to defeat the darkness.

DuVernay has her way of understanding the material, even if it’s a book that may have been considered unfilmable with how long it took to get adapted.  She’s one of the best directors working today and it goes without saying that she ought to be considered for the Star Wars franchise.  She brings in a top-notch cast that isn’t just talented but it’s one of the best things about the film because of the diversity.  It comes at a time in which diversity in film is really important.  This was evident in both last summer’s Wonder Woman and last month’s Black Panther.

Mrs. Which is considered to be the most knowledgeable so it’s no surprise that the role goes to Oprah Winfrey.  There’s no word if everyone on the film left with a new car.  Mrs. Whatsit, the younger of the three, is played with a lot of charm by Reese Witherspoon.  As for Mrs. Who, Mindy Kaling plays the character with a deadpan persona, especially when she’s quoting these famous writers.

Given her appearances in a few films released in 2018, it’s not surprising to see Gugu Mbatha-Raw in a supporting role that doesn’t come with major screen time as Mrs. Murray.  She makes the best of what screen time she has.

Storm Reid absolutely blows it a way as Meg.  She’ll have a bright future as long as filmmakers fight for diversity in casting.

I can’t help but feel that the film doesn’t quite reach the expectations of the book as far as the adaptation goes.  Frozen‘s Jennifer Lee had to adapt the screenplay from a book that doesn’t flow in a structure that’s made for film.  This doesn’t mean that the film is a complete miss because it isn’t.  Having a female heroine that goes on this amazing journey and comes back as a stronger person should be something that helps the film resonate with female viewers.

The lessons in the film are the biggest reason why A Wrinkle in Time is an important film for younger audiences, especially those who are in middle school.

DIRECTOR:  Ava DuVernay
SCREENWRITER:  Jennifer Lee
CAST:  Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peňa and introducing Storm Reid with Zach Galifianakis and Chris Pine

Walt Disney Pictures opens A Wrinkle in Time in theaters on March 9, 2018.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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