Madeline L’Engle’s beloved 1962 children’s novel comes to the big screen in the talented hands of director, Ava DuVernay (“Selma,” “13th”). “A Wrinkle in Time” boasts quite the cast but its message of family, hope, love, and forgiveness makes it a must-see for families.
Meg Murry (Storm Reid) loves her scientist parents (Chris Pine and Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and her life until her Dad disappears. Four years later, she still grieves his loss and has given into self-doubt, not helped by the bullying of the mean girl (Rowan Blanchard) next door. One day, her adopted brother, Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) welcomes a strange woman into their home, Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), and it seems like they’re great friends. Then, Meg, Charles Wallace, and Meg’s friend, Calvin (Levi Miller) meet Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), who only speaks in famous quotes, and larger-than-life Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), the leader of this bunch of magical creatures. Mrs. Which tells Meg that the universe has heard her cry and they are there to help her find her father.
You see, dear old Dad has figured out how to “tesser,” to find a wrinkle in time that allows one to travel great distances. With the help of the Mrs., as they are called, Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin travel to fantastical worlds, talking to flying flowers and a medium named (you guessed it) Happy Medium (Zach Galifianakis) to garner clues as to Dad’s whereabouts. They find out he’s trapped on the planet of Camazotz, held captive by “the IT,” a dark and evil force that he can’t overcome alone.
The children’s journey forces Meg to look deep insider herself to discover the person she is meant to be. She has to face her negative thoughts and feelings about herself in order to find the strength hidden deep inside to battle the evil IT. Of course, the IT takes over one of her companions and she hears all the bad things she thinks about herself from an unsuspected source.
DuVernay has pulled together an amazingly diverse cast for this film but it’s really Storm Reid as Meg who shines the brightest. Reid captures well the conflicted feelings Meg has about herself and her Dad without being melodramatic. Chris Pine as Meg’s Dad represents a sort of everyman, imperfect fathers who need to ask forgiveness from their kids. Winfrey, Kaling, and Witherspoon manage the right amount of gravitas combined with wonder from their strange, sparkly characters.
“A Wrinkle in Time” boasts all the eye-popping CGI that modern movie-making can offer, with brilliant colors and vast landscapes, but at the movie’s heart is a simple but not-so-easy-to-live lesson that can guide any person’s life, child or grown-up: love and forgiveness conquers all.
Click here for Sr. Rose's review of "A Wrinkle in Time" from National Catholic Reporter.