Ava DuVernay directs Storm Reid, Reese Witherspoon and Chris Pine in this kid’s fantasy about intelligent children exploring other realms to find a missing daddy.
I reckon I found the sheer ego of a house sized Oprah Winfrey (top billed despite less than 20 minutes screentime) as laugh-out-loud chucklesome as much she probably thought it perfect. This ridiculous image is the forger’s note that unravels all that is wrong with this clunky spectacular. It has been made in an echo chamber where values like self worth, diversity and literacy have been made paramount over joy and pleasure. We are presented with a childhood home full of tasteful furnishing and non-fiction hardbacks, which lacks toys and when the kid’s friend visits, he is given a dry salad for a snack. Straight faced. For reals! It is a fantasy where the reality is less believable in its utopian middle class obsessions than the wonderlands we (eventually) visit. Solemn kids mope around a prison that lacks sugary drinks or video games. No wonder they go mad and start imagining a world where Reese Witherspoon turns into a mega-leaf and Zach Galifianakis still has a movie career. A Wrinkle in a Time has its heart in the right place, has a better sense of wonder than Spielberg imbues Ready Player One with, and it even pulls a surprise villian out of its arse towards the end that suddenly grips you to the meandering plot. But ultimately it is a movie made directly for right-on moms, that will only fitfully entertain younglings. When it accidentally cheers up and cuts loose, you can just about see how it almost could have been a new children’s classic.