A WRINKLE IN TIME Review — A Beautiful Mess

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A WRINKLE IN TIME Review by Lisa Johnson Mandell

At least it’s pretty

A Wrinkle in Time ReviewLovely to look at, impossible to follow, A Wrinkle in Time feels more like a psychedelic acid trip than a noble hero’s journey (not that I’ve ever been on either one). That might be acceptable for a grownup arthouse flick, but as an adaptation of a beloved preteen novel, it’s bit of a disappointment.

There’s no doubt that the images and special effects are sublime (although the 20-foot tall Oprah really is overkill). If only those lush images fit together in some sort of cohesive way. Adapted from Madeline L’Engle’s award winning sci-fi/fantasy book, it’s fairly apparent that the film is about an awkward but brilliant teen’s quest through space and time to rescue her father, but that’s about where the comprehension ends.

Even if you’ve read the book recently, you’ll still be puzzled about what’s happening and why. Personally, I remember reading it and loving it in sixth grade, and doing a book report involving a diorama in a shoebox with colorfully dressed Liddle Kiddles as the three witches. But alas, that was many moons ago. I couldn’t draw on my vague memories of the book to give me any help with the plot.

And apparently I couldn’t rely on director Ava DuVernay or screenwriter Jennifer Lee to help me out either. There is little continuity and few rules are set and followed. Characters seem to randomly stumble from one situation to the next without rhyme, reason or explanation. It would have been so easy to throw viewers a bone by a adding few lines of explanatory dialogue.

The brightest spot, in addition to the visuals, is talented new comer Storm Reid, who plays Meg Murray with a strength and endearing grace that is unforgettable. The bigger names in the cast, Oprah, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling, are wasted, feeling more like mannequins for the outrageously extraordinary costumes and makeup.

There are also some anti-bullying, family unity and fly-your-own-flag messages that are worthwhile.

In the end, despite the $100 million spent and the major stars cast, the film simply does not deliver on expectations. It wasn’t for lack of resources.

Rated PG

1 Hour 49 Minutes

A WRINKLE IN TIME Review by Lisa Johnson Mandell

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A WRINKLE IN TIME Review by Lisa Johnson Mandell

At Least It’s Pretty

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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