A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

  • Gist: Three angel-like beings tell a girl her scientist father, missing for years, is trapped on a planet ruled by a mysterious evil.
  • Critics and fans are truly divided: I gather that if you already know and love the book, you tend to like this movie. It could feel rushed, vague, maybe from stuffing a fleshed-out version of an imaginative world into a short run time.
  • Significant deletions from the book compress the story, shorten the world building, maybe add to the hurried, unfinished feel. I’d like to know how many cuts Disney insisted on making to the editor’s cut. No kid keeps bouncing his ball, no rhythm-battle between Charles Wallace and It, no perfectly normal twins in the Murray family.
  • A fundamentally simple story–a children’s story–so don’t expect twists or surprises. Its depth comes not from complexity but from profound themes, such as…
  • “Love conquers all” seems trite when the speaker thinks it’s magic. This story knows how costly love is, that conquering all is not magic, but an enormous amount of work, risk, and sacrifice. Still, love conquers.
  • Lots of time and focus go into the lovely CGI visuals, which add to the emotional feel. Several action scenes are invented, helping the movie-ness if not the storytelling.
  • Close-ups galore, soft light, gentle music all make a warm and affectionate mood, like the camera wants to hug the cast. The actors playing Meg (Storm Reid) and Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) are totally adorable.
  • Some scary/intense scenes; not every child will be ok with it. Probably an 8+ movie at youngest.

Conclusion: See it expecting a child’s story; see it with imaginative children.