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The obvious stars do a great job in Wrinkle In Time, not least Oprah Winfrey. But the movie belongs to the three youngsters: Storm Reid who plays Meg Murray; Levi Miller who plays Kelvin O'Keefe and Derec McCabe who plays Charles Wall Murray. They understate, and the movie is all the better for that. It's in keeping with the spirit of Madeline L'Engle's book.
Truth is, A Wrinkle In Time was an “odd book”, to quote L'Engle (1981-2007). Brilliant but quirky. It was rejected at least 26 times by publishers before finding a home with Farrar, Straus & Giroux. It then saw the light of day in 1962 and a year later won the Newbury Medal for children's fiction. Subsequently it was turned into a tv movie (apparently a flop) and now has received the Disney treatment. Has it fared better this time?
L'Engle didn't like the first attempt at a movie. It disappointed her. And this time around the critics haven't been all that kind. Mostly the panned it. It's not possible to predict what she might have said of the Disney film.
But I want to take a different tack. It's not a must see movie, but it more than hints at the greatness of L'Engle's books. And so it's amovie I can say I was glad to see and point other people to it, especially families.
There's just enough in the movie. Just enough about the ability to tesseract (move spatially across vast distances) to infuriate people who want predictable plot.
Just enough about the ability and universality of Christian love to conquer all that is evil to enrage both fundamentalists and atheists.
Just enough of a sense of mischief, play and laughter to madden grown-ups who find life only works when it is deadly serious, routine and mechanical.
Let Léngle have the last word. “Juvenile or adult, War and Peace or Treasure Island, Pride and Prejudice or Beauty and the Beast, a great work of the imagination is one of the highest forms of communication of truth that mankind has reached. But a great piece of literature does not try to coerce to believe it or agree with it. A great piece of literature simply is.”
A Wrinkle In Time simply is. Make a point of seeing it.
The Playlist Reviews
The Party, sharp satire directed by Sally Potter 5 stars +, reviewed by David Bell
The Post, based on a true story of the owner/publisher of the Washingtom Post during Vietnam war starring Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks 5 stars, reviewed by David Bell
Darkest Hour, Winston Churchill's great speech on the retreat from Dunkirk, starring Gary Oldham 5 stars +, reviewed by David Bell
Warehoused, documentary about world's largest refugee camp, directed by Vincent Vettorio 4 stars, reviewed by David Bell
Lala Land, Hollywood singing dancing spectacular, starring Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone 5 stars, reviewed by David Bell
Paterson, an ordinary bus driver with a innate grasp of poetry, starring Adam Driver 5 stars, reviewed by David Bell
Twenty TwentyFour, sci-fi plot done many times over, directed by Richard Munday 3 stars, reviewed by David Bell
Ever The Land, documentary about Tuhoe and Te Urewera, the directed by Sarah Grohnert 4 stars, reviewed by David Bell
Chasing Great, documentary about Richie McCaw, reviewed by Stuart Macadam
War Dogs, comedy-crime film, directed by Todd Phillips, reviewed by Stuart Macadam
Sherpa, documentary-drama about the Sherpas and Everest, reviewed jointly by Stuart Macadam and David Bell