See it…if you want a kid-friendly visually fresh film that reaches for anime-esque emotional impact
Skip it…if you cannot handle a meandering fantasy with hit or miss acting
More enjoyable…than Black Panther
Less enjoyable…than The Greatest Showman
A much safer film that is less interesting due to how much it sticks to its genre
Takes fewer risks, but is executed quite flawlessly…and I like musicals
I have never read A Wrinkle in Time and was quite excited to see what the movie version of a beloved classic I had no exposure to would be like. Firstly, it’s important to know that the film is weird and wild, and doesn’t do much to adjust you to the weirdness. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I can imagine many viewers unfamiliar with the material slapping their forehead into their palm when a giant floating Oprah appears from a shimmer in the sky. Gigantic magic Oprah can be a disheartening sight when you are trying to get a grounded view of what the stakes are in this world.
And that is where most of my problems with the movie lie: the stakes. For some time, I tried to understand the stakes and logic of this fantasy world. And that line of thought really ruins the movie. The reasoning for the plot comes mainly from character dialogue, and so, to enjoy this movie, you have to accept what is being said as gospel. Being told things about a world can be exciting if what you are being told juxtaposes or adds layers to your existing understanding, but here it just provides a thin layer above a void of confusion.
However, that thin layer is holding up what makes this movie worthwhile: beautiful visuals and character emotion. When the stunning visuals of certain sequences align with the progression of the characters and make sense, it’s truly touching. I liken these moments to what you experience when watching anime, where the arc of a character reaches a point of intensity that is magnified by visual metaphor. Here, though, it is happening in a live action Disney film, and that is pretty cool. Sadly, not every moment that reaches for this level of emotional intensity actually succeeds. And part of that problem is some acting and dialogue just not living up to the expectation of those visuals.
I have a dream that at some point a movie will come out that is literally an epic scale music video. I would love it. Some of the tracks that interrupt the score of this film, like one by Sia, harken to the potential of my dream film. Some might say my dream movie has already come out, in the likes of Baby Driver. But I feel that was a movie that was made, and then aligned to music. I want a story that is written, music that is composed for that story, and then visuals that are created for that music. I hope something like that comes along one day. Until then, I will just have to take my few moments in films where this occurs.