A Wrinkle in Time entered my life about 39 or 40 years ago when I was in fifth grade.
Our teacher, Mrs. Laurenzi, began to read the novel to the class, taking a few minutes out each Friday to read a chapter or two. That wasn’t enough for me, so I went off to the library and checked out the book, reading it in one weekend.
Up until then, my non-required reading was limited to non-fiction, especially history. But A Wrinkle in Time slammed me like there was no tomorrow. Madeline L’Engle’s book was filled with incredible storytelling told in an incredible way.
I’d had this notion that I wanted to somehow someway tell stories. Her novel showed me how I wanted to tell the stories.
A Wrinkle in Time – The Movies
Two movie versions of the book exist.
The first was a made-for-television version directed by John Kent Harrison and released in 2003. It won a few awards and critical accolades were mixed.
Even the author of the book was unimpressed. In an interview, L’Engle said, “I have glimpsed it… I expected it to be bad, and it is.”
The simple fact is the film wasn’t the novel. It failed to capture the wonder and intelligence in the novel. It wasn’t a bad movie, but …
In 2018, Director Ava DuVernay released her big-budget Disney version of the book.
I took my three girls to see it the day it opened. We were alone in the theater.
The movie, in my view, was visually amazing and filled with great actors. It was grandiose – perhaps too much so. It had a huge scope. And for some reason, it just didn’t work.
I enjoyed it. My girls liked it. I don’t know that anyone is going to seek it out to watch again.
And there’s this. Not to hit it too hard on the head, but I think diversity works best when you lose sight that a company or film is diverse. The same with depicting powerful women. This film seemed to be shoving diversity and feminine power down our throats.
After a while, “See, we’re diverse” and “See, we’re women (or men, or gay, or whatever),” gets old and starts detracting from the enjoyment of the film. At least for me.
And, again just for me, stripping the Christian themes in the book from the movie was a little off putting for me.
Again, as a general rule, I enjoyed the movie well enough. I certainly don’t regret seeing it on the big screen and I sure as heck don’t regret my daughters seeing strong women doing incredible things.
Is A Wrinkle in Time finished as a movie?
Hard to say. The DuVernay version was a box-office flop, losing an estimated $131 million.
Still I like to think that there is someone out there who can create a solid movie that is loyal to the book (and/or its sequels). I like to think with the proliferation of streaming and the crazy need for new content, perhaps, just maybe, a solid series might be in Meg Murray’s (the lead character in the book) future.
In the meantime, I’ll pick up my tattered copy of the paperback, open it, and reread it. Again. That magic is always there.
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