A Wrinkle In Time Reviewed By Jon E Clist

The Premise
Meg Murry and her brother Charles Wallace have normal lives until one night when a strange visitor comes. Her name was Mrs. Whatsit. She states that there IS such thing as a "tesseract". The next day, Meg and Charles Wallace meet Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which. They also meet the most popular boy in high school: Calvin O'Keefe. Together, they embark on an adventure to save Meg's father, Dr. Murry.

The Review
Disney really are the absolute kings and queens of fantastical worlds and with A Wrinkle In Time they have certainly come to the party to dance. (Not sure if that is really a saying but it explains my feelings about it.) This is a stunning film that brings together a dazzling visual display with a deeply compelling tale. There are so many great cinematic elements in this film that make fir a brilliantly enthralling adventure.

While I am not a big fan of some of the casts’ previous work, I will say that they all fit perfectly into their roles. It is kind of like a big jigsaw puzzle that has some wonderfully colourful pieces that end up combining to make a stunning landscape. I love that while the supporting cast is rather well known with names like Oprah, Galifianakis, Witherspoon and Pine, it is the kid actors that are a cut above and take this movie to a whole new level.

While the character of Charles Wallace is Deric McCabe’s first major role, he is outstanding as the younger and wise brother to the central role of Meg (Storm Reid). McCabe has a complex role for a child actor that involves many different layers and he handles them all like a veteran. It is hard to grasp that on IMDB he only has 3 main credits to his name so far and yet there are moments in this film that he so fully holds the viewers’ attention and stirs great emotional response.

Storm Reid creates a brilliant centrepiece around which the entire film revolves. Meg is a girl who is swamped by the loss of not having her father around and little to no explanation as to why. Her brilliant mind is distracted by her wounded heart and this has led to a longing that has pulled her away from her potential and living a fulfilling life. This is the story of what happens next and the hope that something better might be ahead of her.

This film is the live-action debut for Jennifer Lee and what a brilliant way to enter this stage of her career. Lee is best known for her work in the animation genre with Disney, writing and directing films, some of which include Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, Frozen Fever and Zootopia. Talk about great cinematic resume.

I think Lee has done an awesome job of getting wonderful, yet deliberately cheesy performances out of Winfrey, Witherspoon and Kaling. While Kaling and Winfrey don’t generally interest or excite me, I wasn’t distracted by them and I actually enjoyed their performances within this ensemble cast. Kaling’s eccentric style can often seem like overkill in a role, yet here it is perfect. The trio of Witherspoon, Winfrey and Kaling play these vibrant, weird yet intriguing godlike characters that serve to fit a Disney styled fairy godmother type role in the story. Leading our heroes through a rollercoaster ride within a brave new world.

The Verdict
There are plenty of emotionally charged moments that lift and drop you along the way and while there is plenty of gorgeously artistic CGI overtop, the New Zealand scenery once again stars in centre stage to add weight to the cinematic experience. I really enjoyed this film and I wasn’t expecting to. A very pleasant surprise for all.

The Trailer

The Info
Releases: 12th April 2018
Rating: PG
Duration: 109 minutes 
Genre:  Fantasy
Starring: Levi Miller, Storm Reid, Deric McCabe, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine and Mindy Kaling
Director: Ava DuVernay (13th, Selma)