Ava DuVernay Talks Racism And 'A Wrinkle In Time'

Angelo Anderson
March 9, 2018

Everything about the Missus is pitched at a level too high; director Ava DuVernay clearly finds them more charming than you likely will. (Witherspoon, in particular, looks fully aware how stranded she is.) A Wrinkle in Time turns into a road movie for its middle third, as we hop from one spot to another until landing on The It, which is poorly defined but still serves as the de facto villain for the last third.

Not Bruce DeMara. A Wrinkle in Time is an "emotionally charged, tension-filled and ultimately satisfying" film, boasting "splendidly rendered" special effects, "sumptuous" cinematography, "beautifully detailed" settings, and a "sublime" musical score, he writes at the Toronto Star.

It is an awkward, laboring affair that - sticking with the time theme - feels longer than its less-than-two-hour runtime. Which - yes, Disney has typecast Oprah Winfrey in the role and stuck some nice rhinestones on her - and the quotation-spouting Mrs.

Murry has his head in the stars - his dream is to "shake hands with the universe" - and he teaches his enthusiastic, bespectacled offspring about some big concepts regarding space and time.

"Well, I'm sitting right here next to Heather B., so I just want to modulate the emcee-ness here because you got a legend over here (pointing to Heather B.)..." Having previously landed small roles in 12 Years a Slave and the sci-fi street magic flick, Sleight, Reid's casting as Meg Murry in Disney's A Wrinkle in Time is both her biggest gig yet - upon being cast, she says, "I was screaming".

Immediately, Meg's unnaturally brilliant brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) declares, "Jesus!" When Calvin (Levi Miller), the love interest and friend of the main character Meg (Storm Reid), asks, "Who have our fighters been?" The popular girls leave Meg notes on her locker saying she should disappear like her dad. Now that Meg, her prodigious brother, and a random boy from school have all reached certain points in their lives, three multidimensional fairy godmothers arrive to lead the kids on a journey to bring Mr. Murry back. Who (Mindy Kaling), a wise being who only communicates in proverbial quotes from such people as Gandhi, Lin Manuel Miranda and Outkast.

It's worth hanging around for the spectacle at the beginning of the credits, since "A Wrinkle In Time" is often a gorgeous, colorful movie.

To make a long story short, the two Murry children, and a classmate of Meg's who doesn't see her as a weirdo, Levi Miller's Calvin, follow the oddly outfitted intergalactic women - Winfrey's glammed-out look, especially, is a lot to take in - to unusual far-away worlds in search of Mr. Murry. Next is the underground Happy Medium, where Zach Galifianakis fittingly dresses in "earth tones".

Visually, "A Wrinkle in Time" is strong, with its fantasy environments looking like something out of a Final Fantasy game. That's all well and good, but it's done with such stunning imprecision. So if you like the new lovable Meg, you'll have to wait for an eventual sequel (the book is the first of a quintet)... that is, if the movie doesn't flop at the box office.

REID: (As Meg) Can you help us find him please? McCabe is, distractingly, the polar opposite as Charles Wallace, the boy never quite feeling like a real boy. They just latch onto how what they're watching makes them feel.

This must have been an Oprah project or a passion project for DeVernay, who impressed with the historically powerful drama, Selma. If this is going to be her one shot at a blockbuster, she's going to make it her way.

Again, this movie's really for kids, although it should be noted that the movie does get surprisingly frightening in its climactic stretch, another questionable choice by its creative forces. It is not without its good qualities.

How important do you think the diversity in this film is, especially at this time? .

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