A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle is a beloved 1962 children’s novel — did you read it as a kid? I did! — so it’s really surprising that it hasn’t been made into a feature film until now. But finally, the adventures of Meg Murry (Storm Reid) have been brought to the big screen by Disney and director Ava DuVernay (Selma), and the result is a dazzling-to-look-at story about figuring out who you are, becoming comfortable in your own skin, and the power of family.
Meg’s scientist father Alex (Chris Pine) mysteriously disappeared four years ago, leaving teenager Meg, her scientist mom (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and her genius younger brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) depressed and bewildered. Now, a trio of otherworldly beings — Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey) — has informed the Murry children that their father is trapped in another dimension and needs their help.
Along for the adventure is Calvin O’Keefe (Levi Miller), a boy from Meg’s school who has quite the crush on her. Together they “tesser” through the universe, making stops at several exotic planets to try and piece together the puzzle of exactly where Mr. Murry might be. As if that weren’t hard enough, a black-hole-looking cloud called “The It” is fast approaching, corrupting and swallowing up everything in its wake.
The worlds that the kids visit are truly a sight to behold. Eye-popping colors, enigmatic creatures and characters who are not what they seem meet the trio at every turn. As Meg begins to realize just how hard it’s going to be to save her father, she must grapple with her own insecurities and find the confidence needed to execute their mission. Since this is a Disney movie you can be sure that this story has a happy ending; however, what surprised me about A Wrinkle in Time is that I think it might be pretty scary for younger viewers. It’s rated PG for several sequences where the kids are in danger and the young Charles Wallace in particular looks downright frightening. I left the theater thinking that tweens and young teens might be the ones who enjoy this movie and its empowering message the most. And the world is certainly in need of more movies like that!