I finally saw A Wrinkle in Time at an all-ages screening at Alamo Drafthouse. (I love that I can take my baby to these shows!) There’s been so much conversation about this movie that I don’t feel like I have much to add, but here are some personal takeaways. . .
- A Wrinkle in Time is probably an impossible book to adapt to screen—first because it’s so beloved, and second because the action is so abstract. How do you depict tessering? Or fighting evil with your mind? (Like Rey in Star Wars, Meg has to do a lot of intense concentrating.) I think a lot of the negative audience reaction is slightly unfair because it has mostly to do with the ways the movie does not live up to the book.
- That said…the pacing of this movie is a little slow, or just off in some way, and I think that has to do with the odd pacing of the novel (most literary novels have a weird pace.) Personally, I didn’t mind the slowness, because it made it easier for my five-year-old son to follow along. I also liked how the movie let you luxuriate in some of the special effects.
- I loved that the special effects were used to make beautiful images, like a field of chattering flowers, the floating rock formations of a strange planet, and an amazing sequence when Reese Witherspoon transforms into a flying leaf lady. Usually, special effects are used to depict something being blown up or destroyed, so it was a refreshing to see such fanciful, and even silly effects.
- The costumes, hair, make-up, and nails were wonderfully detailed, witty, and just a total pleasure to gaze upon.
- Was Chris Pine always such a good actor? He plays Meg’s dad and is only in the movie for about ten minutes, but all his scenes brought tears to my eyes. He has this way of making even the most serviceable dialogue seem really important. I first noticed this in Wonder Woman where he had to deliver some truly ridiculous lines but somehow said them with total sincerity. In A Wrinkle in Time, he is given just one line of dialogue to explain why he left his family behind for four years –“I wanted to shake hands with the universe”—and he makes that seem like a full and complete answer.