Acclaimed director Ava DuVernay (Selma) returns with an adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s acclaimed children’s book A Wrinkle in Time. Sadly, the results are more clumsy than enchanting (disclaimer: I have not read the novel).
Storm Reid plays Meg, an intelligent girl alienated from her peers and sorely missing her scientist father (Chris Pine), who vanished four years earlier. Three celestial beings (Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling, and Reese Witherspoon) arrive on earth and tell her and her brother (Deric McCabe) that they’ll help them find their father. Meg’s new friend Calvin (Levi Miller) also tags along for the ride.
Wrinkle’s problems are many. The actors are saddled with tons of expository dialogue, especially in the film’s first half. As a result, the movie is often more explanatory than adventurous and cinematic. The human connections between characters largely aren’t there, either. Meg and Calvin’s relationship feels forced. He shows up because he says something told him to, which makes him more of a plot device than a character. The film’s villain is a vague evil force called “The It,” which just reminds viewers that last year featured a better film about children battling a metaphysical evil called ... It.
The one moment where A Wrinkle in Time expounds upon its well-intentioned themes in a cinematic way is a montage showing the hidden pain of many of the supporting characters. But mostly this movie is a misfire.