Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a huge child at heart. It’s a characteristic handed down from my beautiful, playful mother. A quality that allows me to have an open heart and mind when watching projects meant to tap into one’s inner child.
One of my favorite films of all time is The Wizard of Oz. I mean who doesn’t love that moment when Dorothy realizes what she searched for in Oz was inside her all the time? Well, what The Wizard of Oz did for me is what A Wrinkle in Time will do for this new generation of young people.
Based on the popular novel by Madeline L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time takes us on the journey of Meg (Storm Reid) and her little brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) as they ‘tesseract’ through time to bring back their scientist Dad (Chris Pine), who is being held captive by the ‘it.’
Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) serve as a more beautiful, elegant version of the Scarecrow, Tinman and Lion as they guide Meg and Charles Wallace through their journey in time. All three ladies are great, but my favorite was Mindy Kaling. I love quotes and grabbed a whole handful of new ones from her character of Mrs. Who. Not to mention the fact, that this was a huge departure of characterization for Kaling. It was not Kelly Kapoor from The Office or Mindy Lahiri from The Mindy Project and I, for one, was happy to see her tap into a different lane. One which is most welcomed and received.
Gugu M’batha Raw (Mrs. Murry) and Chris Pine (Mr. Murry) are exquisite as the parents of these adventurous young time travelers. For me, this is Chris Pine’s finest moment on film to date. Bravo!!! A big thumb up to Zach Galfianakis (Happy Medium) who brings humor, humanity and empathy to Meg as she struggles to believe and move forward.
However, the real stars of A Wrinkle in Time are Storm Reid and Deric McCabe. As Oprah says, these two “have a future so bright it burns my eyes.” The emotional depths Storm taps into as a first timer on film are stunningly heartfelt and Deric McCabe is a star…period.
However, it is the brilliant casting of Aisha Coley and the spot-on direction of Ava Duvernay that brings this beautifully crafted story to light. Duvernay tackles and effectively conveys elements like gossip, bullying, relationships between mother/daughter, daughter/father, brother/sister and most importantly how the power of love can overcome hate and prejudice by any means necessary. If you just believe…anything is possible.
The film has some peaks and valleys when it comes to pacing, however, A Wrinkle in Time is a beautiful, fantastical message about how being different is what makes one unique. Why walk around trying to be someone else, when being you is so much more interesting. Be uniquely you, take a child to see A Wrinkle in Time when it opens in theaters nationwide on March 9th to tap into YOUR inner child.
- Penned by Carla Renata
A member of the (AAFCA) African-American Film Critics Association, Carla Renata is a graduate of Howard University’s School of Communications. A Virgo, she’s also a devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts. She is the host Black Tomatoes – a brand new film review show on Black Hollywood Live owned by Emmy Winner Maria Menounos and also a freelance to contributor on NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered. Her blog TheCurvyFilmCritic.com is very popular online and will soon be accompanied by a podcast of the same name via iTunes.