Presumably, by now you’ve noticed there is a movie remake of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, and if you haven’t… SURPRISE! Let me start off by saying I loved it. It’s been *many* years since I’ve read the book but overall it held up well as a screen adaptation of a book I loved as a child. Here are my top 5 rather rambling reasons you should go see A Wrinkle in Time FORTHWITH (in no particular order).
It’s a solid adaptation of the book you loved growing up, a book your kids love now, and a book you probably ought to re-read but maybe won’t because time is harder to come by now in the adult world. It’s not a perfect adaptation by any means but it just works. Personally, I’d have happily tacked on another hour of the movie to keep the scenes that were cut. I keep reminding myself it’s supposed to be a kids movie but in all honesty it probably should have just been aimed at adults but kept kid-friendly. As with all adaptations, we have to accept that it won’t be just like the book but that doesn’t mean it has to suffer for that difference and in this case I think it was very well done indeed.
Reese Witherspoon only gets better as she ages, and she started pretty damn awesome to begin with so that is saying something! She is master of the flippant, irreverent, yet ultimately caring humor and age has given her performances a weight and gravity behind the façade that makes it clear she is care-free not from ignorance but from wisdom. She’s also an actress I respect in real life. Listening to her speak about equality and producing movies that Hollywood thinks won’t succeed and being quirky and strong and not taking crap from anyone is a pretty cool thing that I hope gives strength to a new generation in Hollywood.
Diversity. Sometimes this, in and of itself, is a good enough reason to see a movie. Sometimes you can look at a movie and know this is *important* for equality and diversity and that you should see it so you can understand. I felt that way about Get Out, which is probably not a movie I’d have seen otherwise (although I enjoyed it), because it felt important for me to see, especially as someone who is fair skinned. In the case of A Wrinkle in Time, the diversity and equality of gender this movie was clearly aiming for still can make me tear up a little. I hope Hollywood looks at this, really looks at this, and realizes they have been selling us short – for what we want from movies and for what will succeed in box offices. Hollywood has been underestimating the general populace for years and I hope this movie is a new beginning for an era of films unlike any we’ve seen before, where our movies represent a fuller spectrum of the world we actually see around us.
The entire cast SHONE. Shined? Was shiny? Whatever, they nailed it. Everybody’s performances were spot on and amazing. I highly doubt a single actor was cast in this movie for “looking the part” (which I happen to think is a stupid way to cast movies anyway) but they all brought the absolute spirit of the book to their characters and combined it brought such a palpable feel to the movie magic. I basically *dare* you to not connect with these characters. Really, the only possible exception to this is Oprah who gave exactly the sort performance I’d expect of her – which is not to say she was bad, but she was mediocre at best and resonated fully as Oprah being Oprah. Granted, most people are rather fond of that so it will probably work for you if you have a generally favorable attitude towards her. I personally have a history of not liking Oprah (Just say NOPE-RAH to Oprah 2020 please. We can do better.) and even I have to admit the part didn’t really stretch her acting muscles or anything but I’d say she accomplished what was needed of her for this role. The real stars were everyone else though. Literally everyone did an amazing job. Storm Reid brought a version of Meg that I never dreamed of yet hit me RIGHT IN THE FEELS. Most of the cast I’d never heard of before, but remained floored by how amazing they all were.
BECAUSE IT IS A DAMN FINE MOVIE. Like, separate from expectations and grand socio-political platforms, and casting and all that other hub-bub, it’s just a good ol’ fashioned awesome movie. You’ll laugh, you’ll get teary eyed, you’ll feel wonder and fear, and you’ll leave feeling like “Hey, that was a good movie!” Nostalgia for the books did not in any way undermine my appreciation for what the movie is at the end of the day, which is just a really good movie. Whether you’re a hardcore fan or have never heard of the books, do yourself a favor and check this one out.
There were some notable scenes from the book that I was anticipating which never materialized and that’s rather unfortunate. There was no centaur-like being with magic breathing mask flowers. There was no Beastie caring for Meg. There was not a believable back story for Calvin.