A Wrinkle in Time Screen 7 articles

A Wrinkle in Time


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  • Fraught by a scattered plot and jolting camerawork, A Wrinkle in Time suffers from the double-edged sword that is DuVernay’s affect-oriented sensitivity, a keenness that, in this instance, operates as an Achilles heel. . . . The rifts only widen when A Wrinkle in Time forcefully introduces a mythology that replaces L’Engle’s Christianity with a strain of uninspired humanism.

  • The movie largely comes off as compellingly offbeat, if also sometimes incoherent, despite what can feel like a slick mandate to sell its preteen audience on a certain brand of inspiration-speak, rather than just on inspiration. . . . DuVernay has largely fashioned A Wrinkle in Time into a trippy, unpredictable fantasy about a young black girl’s wavering sense of self-worth and the universal forces — from familial love to “tesseracts” — it takes to get her to embrace her own power.

  • In nearly every other way, the adaptation is an insider variant on outsider art. It’s been made with a combination of complacency and misplaced confidence. . . . The filmmakers organize the human comedy-drama into a deluxe after-school soap opera that’s as much about Meg’s need for self-esteem as it is about her devotion to her family.

  • Madeleine L'Engle's beloved young-adult fantasy novel becomes a lumbering, uninspired live-action Disney feature. . . . L'Engle's prose, which calls on readers to imagine great stretches of time and space, is essentially unfilmable, but the filmmakers try to realize it anyway, heaping on flashy digital effects that severely limit one's ability to engage with the story imaginatively.

  • There's a lot that feels insufficiently shaped or fitfully realized, but at the same time, there's a lot to like. It's the Platonic ideal of a mixed bag. The newness of the new parts counterbalances the ineffectiveness of the stuff that seemingly every fantasy blockbuster does, and that this one doesn't do well. It has zero interest in seeming cool, and in its final third, it ramps up the sentiment into a zone that most big-budget movies don't dare enter in the era of irony and "grittiness."

  • DuVernay builds the entire movie around a core of dramatic intensity that differs significantly from that of the novel but nonetheless gives rise to several emblematic images . . . that resonate beyond the confines of the story. But the script dulls the sharpest details and eliminates the most idiosyncratic aspects of the novel, including most of the fascinatingly intricate world-building; what remains is a story that delivers emotional moments and delightful details that only vaguely cohere.

  • Throughout her films, DuVernay's rare visual flourishes tend to contrast sharply and often awkwardly with her generally modest, utilitarian style. That's especially true of A Wrinkle in Time, where sweeping views of far-flung worlds feel curiously inert. On the lush, colorful planet where the kids first travel, for example, the wide vistas of verdant hills and curving, distant spires seem flattened out by the functional compositions.

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