Dr. Alexander Murray (Chris Pine) and his wife, Dr. Kate Murray (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) are astrophysicists who have a theory that maybe there isn't exactly a centre of the universe, but the universe sleeps inside all of us, and that by a type of concentration, there can be a portal called The Tesseract, a type of wormhole that could unlock secrets of reality. One day five years ago, Alex went missing and some believe he made it, some being his daughter Meg, a little, and others say maybe he ran away because he didn't love the two of them. Then one day, Meg's younger brother Charles Wallace brings in a strange woman named Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) who says she knows the whereabouts of Meg's father. She and the two other Mrs, Mrs Which (Oprah Winfrey) and Mrs Who (Mindy Kaling) bring the two of them, plus Meg's new friend Calvin (Levi Miller) to a planet and universe where there's a darkness named It threatening them and all life, and the three of them have to find Alex before they're devoured.
Congrats mightily to Ava DuVernay for being the first woman of colour to direct a $100 million dollar production. After Selma, she deserved to be the historical figure. For those who don't know, it's a biography about Martin Luther King that she directed. Now, back when I saw Selma, I gave it a C+, and even though I still think I stand by that grade, it's one of the guiltiest reviews I have ever published. David Oyelowo as King Jr. himself was breathtaking, and it's effective on a lot of counts, especially showing how we may or may not be better than we were fifty-five years ago, but I personally felt like there was so much more that could've been explored, and that a lot of the inspirations before his grand speech were told rather than shown. So I approached this new production not knowing what my expectations should be. Some critics have said DuVernay bit off more than she could chew and the production had both too much and too little on its plate. And I admit, the movie does seem like it's in a rush and is over mightily quickly, but I enjoyed myself while the trip lasted, and I found there was a suitability.
One too much and too little thing is there actually are several very good movie sets, one of a beach and a neighbourhood more creepily similar than Mike Myers' Cat in the Hat (a movie I actually kind of like), a crumbling forest, a gold-looking cavern more topsy-turvy than a Jenga tower, and others. We don't spend a lot of time in them, though. But at least these sets help make it more rewatchable. The best thing about the movie is definitely the concept of It, the darkness that stems a little bit from everyone. We're shown instead of told examples of how people feel and give unnecessary misery, and the concept of it sucking up the world is not far-fetched. Think about the metaphor for a minute. It (well, It, not It) also allows Meg to make a decision at the very end concerning this idea that made me grin and wish life could go like that for most others.
And though scientists will probably call the idea of the tesseract crazy, and the idea has a similarity to Scarlett Johansson's Lucy only a little more noticeably fantastical, its simplicity and will to be different was likeable. The first destination through time is to a place I would love to visit. Though the 2016 Alice Through the Looking Glass, one of my all-time favourite movies, has scenery and effects that put this one to shame, these sets are a little less cluttered. Looking Glass was cluttered in a good way, every speck telling a story and raising the bar. This one has a kind of natural beauty, nothing feeling like it wasn't made by Mother Earth, or Mother Whatever. When Meg ends up attacking bully and neighbour Veronica at school and she says to her upset mother how her missing father wouldn't have just sat around, her mother is silent for a few seconds. Very effective directing, DuVernay.
Apart from Michael Pena and Chris Pine, every actor or actress does a wonderful job. I get the impression some people might be worried today's child actors will be so grounded in tech-text-talk that it will somehow affect their knowledge and emotion display. Storm Reid and Levi Miller are both adorable and extreme, showing the same balance of wonder, fear, joy and responsibility any kid would feel being whisked away with three Mrs. astral travellers. Deric McCabe as Charles Wallace is nice. A few times I forgot he wasn't Ryan Malgarini, who played Harry in the 2003 Freaky Friday. He's now 26 but they both never stumble or think what they're doing is a joke, unless they're told to. Mindy Kaling manages to speak in quota entirely without becoming a laughingstock, Reese Witherspoon has the same goofiness and feel that she's from another entire world like in her Legally Blonde films and as a result perfectly portrayed Mrs. Whatsit, and Oprah Winfrey was a perfect choice for the big Mrs. Which. Hard to think of another female figure that holds as much power yet compassion in the acting world as her. Well, maybe besides Ellen. The realistic acting really elevated the adventure.
Even though I honestly think Selma is a more important movie and might leave more of a lasting impression, I enjoyed watching this a lot more. A Wrinkle In Time is a painless sci-fi fantasy with three cute tween protagonists with a good metaphor of our personal unnecessary pessimism.