So, walking into the film, I was sort of starting from scratch, other than a distant, subconscious ambivalence.
The couple have two children Meg (Storm Reid) and Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe).
When Mr. Murry (Chris Pine) disappears one night, four years pass before they find out anything that happened to him. Meg has started to have problems at school, being bullied by other students before finally lashing out. Charles Wallace, who was a baby when his father disappeared, has grown into a very smart five or six year old, outspoken and a clear defender of his father and his work.
The next day, a boy in Meg’s class, Calvin (Levi Miller) stops by the house, clearly with a crush on Meg. When they go for a walk, Charles Wallace enters an abandoned house, meeting up with Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling). She talks in famous quotes so Meg thinks that she is crazy. Charles Wallace keeps saying that it’s near time for them to go on an adventure, leaving Meg fully confused.
The next afternoon, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who show up again. They introduce the children to Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey). She tells the children that their father is alive and to get him back the three Mrs. W’s will need the children’s help. They enlist Calvin as another brave soul, then speed the children off through “tessering” to the planet of Uriel.
The planet looks as if it might be the mountains of New Zealand, so bright and colorful because it lives in light and love. Mrs. Which reveals that the universe is under attack by the It, an evil, black spidery looking formation that is slowly reaching out, covering the universe in anger and hate.
Meg must learn to focus on her father in order to find him. The W’s are concerned of the growing danger to the children and want to take them back to Earth. As they begin the “tessering”, Meg takes control of the trip, bringing them to the planet of Camazotz. The W’s need to leave the planet since the It has control there, causing their powers fade.
But, the W’s leave the children with three gifts. One to stay together no matter what, one to Meg to embrace her faults, and glasses to use in a last resort.
The It quickly takes over, separating Charles Wallace from Meg and Calvin, forcing the kids to use their wits to survive to battle between the darkness and the light.
It's a colorful movie and the costumes are very well done. I even like Reese Witherspoon as a redhead with braids.
But, not everything works.
Why is there never, ever in tv shows and movies a teacher around when children are being bullied? It bothers the crap out of me that children are ganged up on by others, and when they defend themselves they're always the one caught and punished. I understand that they wanted to show how Meg was feeling isolated, but the principal going after Meg for taking her father’s disappearance hard really bothered me.
Another is what I have dubbed “Twelve foot Oprah”. I’m not going to bash Oprah (I know I would get hate mail coming out of the woodwork.) I’ll just leave this here for you to ponder why the heck it was needed. Could they not have Mrs. Which just be...normal?
A Wrinkle in Time is worth a viewing, but if you don’t like the story to begin with, don’t bother. Honestly, there wasn't much here for me to like overall, other than empowering the child that thought that she was an outcast.
2 out of 5