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Disney's 'Wrinkle in Time' looks great, but its story feels incomplete

09 March 2018

But this is one of those films where once you've seen it, you may find yourself wondering how it could have been done more effectively, with a little more subtlety in the writing and editing to truly fulfill the story's dramatic and cinematic potential. I already mentioned the script, so let me give you a flawless example of how bad the writing is.

A Wrinkle in Time, directed by Ava Duvernay, and starring Storm Reid, Levi Miller, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kailing, Chris Pine and other, is baed on the novel of the same name by Madeilene L'Engle.

Jennifer Lee and Jeff Stockwell have adapted what has been considered an "unfilmable" book, and keeping the story simple, and earnest, is the necessary foundation for the fantastical set pieces that DuVernay crafts.

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Reese Witherspoon showed off two chic outfits during a visit to Good Morning America on Thursday to promote A Wrinkle In Time. The new-age crap quotient borders on intolerable. Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) attempts to lift her spirits regularly but nothing will ever satisfy the void Meg's dad left.

That's when her NASA scientist father (Chris Pine in a brief but strong appearance) disappeared, shortly after telling the world that people could travel the universe if they just find "the right frequency" and channel their thoughts in that direction. But there are so many odd distractions in the production that I doubt the message will hit home with many children.

But back to those astral travelers: Mrs. What you are gonna get, though, is Alfre Woodard (!) in the Mrs. Whatsit role now occupied by Reese Witherspoon, as well as two actors with tangential X-Men ties. Who (Mindy Kaling), and Mrs. Which (a 20-foot-tall Oprah Winfrey)-are meant to bring a little star quality to the film, along with answers, but it's nearly impossible not to get a look-at-me vibe from their performances.

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But young kids who need this kind of movie probably won't mind all that. Nonetheless, "A Wrinkle in Time" still has the misfortune of feeling like it's stealing from the very things that stole from it. "[Meg] says to her friend, Calvin, 'Do you trust me?' And he says, 'I trust you.' He follows a girl".

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Overall it is a lovely movie and has some wonderful visuals, but I feel it's definitely going to be enjoyed more by those who are unfamiliar with the book, and within the recommended age group. It does not spend too much time bogged down in the hows and whys of the characters' supernatural abilities or otherworldly looks - these things just are. It's not that her little welcome speech - declaring the movie is for "the kid in you", for "young people and people who are young at heart" - was unwelcome, but it does undeniably color how you then watch the movie, as opposed to letting the work speak for itself. I've never read the novel, but I have no trouble believing that it carries an emotional and dramatic resonance that the film version is sadly lacking.

Disney's 'Wrinkle in Time' looks great, but its story feels incomplete