Marcha 23, 2018

How A Wrinkle in Time Went Wrong

09 Marcha 2018, 07:28 | Benedicto Grullon

The Biggest Challenges in Making A WRINKLE IN TIME

Oprah Winfrey ava duvernay

Ava DuVernay's "A Wrinkle in Time" is a landmark film even before it hits the theaters.

I couldn't help but think that the movie had much more star-wattage in its cast than in the narrative - that can happen when Oprah Winfrey plays a literally larger-than-life, lit-from-within star-rider. And it's kind of frustrating because it makes you up your game.

Underneath the sci-fi and fantasy elements of both the book and film of "A Wrinkle in Time", the story is quite simple: a young girl sets out to find her missing father (Chris Pine). (I am now potty training a toddler, so I know a thing or two about this.) As Meg prepares to go into danger and rescue her beloved brother from the clutches of IT, Mrs. Whatsit asks if she has the courage to go alone. I'm obsessed with how people, events and cultural objects from the past shape our understandings of race and gender in the present.

As a kid I loved Meg because that bravery allowed her to save other people. Who, an equally welcome Mindy Kaling.

The film is all about that touchy-feely connectedness and help-one-another caring nature, and in a movie landscape that sees too few films embrace such messages of positivity, it was refreshing to see characters express love and compassion so freely.

And, unbeknownst to his sister and mother, Charles Wallace has made some otherworldly friends: Reese Witherspoon's Mrs. Whatsit, Mindy Kaling's Mrs. Mrs. Whatsit (Witherspoon), Mrs.

What raises the film up isn't the splendidly rendered special effects or the big star names such as Oprah Winfrey as Mrs. Which, the eldest of the three.

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. It was a trifle obvious, particularly when this version of 1984 could be countered by reciting the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address, but in stripping out many details of how IT holds sway, screenwriters Jennifer Lee and Jeff Stockwell leave nothing more than the standard-issue intrinsic evil of any old apocalyptic action movie.

Zach Galifianakis is a disaster as a character named the Happy Medium, and when the devilish Red (Michael Pena) appears, he seems an terrible lot like King's "It" villain Pennywise, even though L'Engle's book precedes King's. Galifianakis got choked up when he spoke about working with DuVernay and his castmates. "I knew I wanted it to be a girl of color", Ava DuVernay tells ET. "Less effort on hair, wardrobe and hugs and more on dialogue and originality, I say", he wrote. "I was a whole ball of emotions!" - and also an absolute revelation.

So for DuVernay, Sway went into the vault and came out with some info about the Queen Sugar creator that I would have never guessed - and neither would you. It's the same company that asked Taika Waititi to make Thor [Ragnarok], that had Ryan Coogler make Panther, and that has Niki Caro as the next woman with a $100 million budget, making Mulan. The two, who have been close for years, edited their films in neighboring suites on the Disney lot and DuVernay has been a massive champion of Coogler's record-smashing blockbuster.

Three years later, her film "13th" was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Teens may relate to her more. As they are walking through the street, Calvin says, "I smell roasted food". With this, we had the Disney machine. In Disney's adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's novel, Meg (Storm Reid), her genius brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) and cute schoolmate Calvin (Levi Miller) head off to save her father (Chris Pine), who took a transdimensional journey that has left him stuck on a faraway planet for four years.

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