With the help of a terrifically diverse cast anchored by the sweet - but too sweet, here - newcomer Storm Reid, and A-listers like Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon, DuVernay has made a film that is unabashedly - some might say relentlessly - of the moment.
I'm not suggesting that Disney's A Wrinkle in Time can't be fun and edifying and inspirational. "These are real formative things that we're looking to get out to a newer generation".
Many prescreening viewers shared their disappointment in the film.
So little of the film feels original or interesting that that cynical voice in my head crept in repeatedly, telling me that all A Wrinkle In Time had become an excuse for Winfrey and her friends to play dress-up and deliver life-coaching lessons. Images of infinite vistas, dissolving landscapes and flowery beings beckon, plus the protagonist is guided by a trio of powerful female forces and rescues her father herself: the story has got some contemporary social appeal.
Co-star Mindy Kaling echoed that sentiment. It was such a great book and I loved it, and I loved the character. (Well, kind of. As an adult, I've got about 50 pounds on most actresses.) Growing up, though, I was more interested in finding my representation in books.
A Wrinkle in Time's unabashed girliness extends past the presentation of The Mrs. That is so profound. But they did. And when they said I could make her a girl of color, it just grabbed my whole heart'. The storyline is undeveloped, the characters are unexplored and the potential for "A Wrinkle In Time" is never realized. But the lead is 14-year-old Storm Reid. Living in her cozy Compton home with her scientist mother Kate (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and 5-year-old brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), Meg isn't almost as comfortable at school, where she's chronically bullied by the resident mean girls. She's had bit roles in television ("NCIS: Los Angeles", "Chicago P.D.") and film ("12 Years a Slave", "Sleight"), but nothing even close to something like "A Wrinkle in Time". Audiences around the world will soon understand why. As Oprah's Mrs. Which intones, "Trust nothing".
The Atlanta-native started acting at age 3 after she told her mother that she wanted to be a "stuperstar". Meg has problems at school - she's said to be aggressive and troublesome, although frankly, this is hard to see from Reid's appealingly thoughtful, sweet demeanor.
Disney doesn't really need any more passable movies at this point. Fortunately, Reid has the support of her family and the protection of two profound mentors in DuVernay and Winfrey. Winfrey, Witherspoon, and Kaling are enjoyable in their respective roles with Kaling being cute as she speaks mostly in quotes and Witherspoon being quirky and amusing. In some ways, A Wrinkle in Time is its own vision, distinct from the book. I already mentioned the script, so let me give you a ideal example of how bad the writing is. And also, like, really, really smart. and, one more thing: full of love, just teeming with the stuff. When Mrs. Which arrives in Meg's backyard, she's about 50 feet tall, and the sight of a Godzilla-sized Oprah so jibes with her position as Queen of Our Popular Culture that you briefly giggle yourself right out of the movie. The people around you are going to change. As they are walking through the street, Calvin says, "I smell roasted food". "I had to take a look, and...be able to find the genuine people in my life". So for me to be able to be that [inspiration] for young girls that look like me - but really for all girls, to show them they can do anything, that's unbelievable.
At 11, I pretty much had the book memorized.
Meg's younger brother, Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), is a budding genius eerily in tune with the mysteries of the spheres; McCabe was 8 when the movie was filmed but he has the self-possession, the not-quite-naïve certainty, that a faithful reader wants in a Charles Wallace. "And, they can be the light for the world and themselves and their communities".