A Wrinkle in Time
Directed by Ava DuVernay (PG)
A girl’s search for her father escapes time’s boundaries.
Disney’s long-anticipated adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved 1962 sci-fi coming-of-age novel has turned out to be “a magical mystery tour minus the magic and the mystery,” said Joe Morgenstern in The Wall Street Journal. Though director Ava DuVernay found an appealing young actress to play 13-year-old Meg Murry, the middle schooler’s bid to travel through space and time to find her missing scientist father doesn’t ignite: “A vital spark is missing, and all the digital wizardry in the cosmos can’t replace it.” A Wrinkle in Time is no botch job, though, so fans of either the young adult novel or DuVernay “can breathe a sigh of relief,” said A.O. Scott in The New York Times. Besides having a “wonderfully solemn” Meg in Storm Reid, it delivers “passages of visual dazzle” and a chilling late showdown between two brainy Murry siblings and a malevolent force called IT. But the film “trusts words more than images,” and binges on New Age affirmation talk from three celestial guides, played by Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling. At least, said Ty Burr in The Boston Globe, DuVernay’s work recaptures three core values—“love of family, love of being alive, and love of our common humanity”—that have made the novel timeless.