By Marc Woodfork
“A Wrinkle in Time” tells the story of a young girl, Meg Murry, played wonderfully by actress Storm Reid, who is in search of her father who mysteriously disappears while working on a physics experiment that may make time travel a reality. After four or five years of realizing that her father may never be found, her younger extremely gifted brother introduces her to three otherworldly guides, played by Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling.
Seems like a great story. Sadly, it isn’t. “Wrinkle in Time” is a mess. It’s one of those stories that should have remained in book form. Lots of novels don’t make good films and this is certainly one them. The book was published in 1962, at a time when people thought differently about space and time travel. Those ideas and perceptions didn’t translate well for this adaptation. I understand that it is a book for and about children, but I can’t see theaters full of kids getting into this.
Visually, like most Disney films, it’s beautiful. Disney rarely fails to impress with the look of their movies. Surprisingly, the child actors are excellent. They manage to upstage the older more experienced actors. In particular, Deric McCabe who plays the younger brother of Storm Reid does a remarkable job. It’s by far the best role in the film. Having an all-star cast such as Oprah, Reese, and Mindy still doesn’t save the film.
Outside of the visual effects, the story is mundane, uninspiring, and at times boring. The script lacks the heart required for the story. By the time the end finally arrives, you’re left with a “what was that?” impression.
Some novels should be left on the bookshelves.