A Wrinkle in Time – Finding the Light in the Darkness

For decades the science fiction genre has long excluded the female demographic. Although it is unclear why, one can perhaps assume that women’s exclusion was rooted within misogynistic sexual and gender-based viewpoints.  What IS clear, is that Madeleine L’Engle’s novel A Wrinkle in Time was unique for its time and a welcomed surprise enjoyed by all audiences, later winning the John Newbery Medal in 1963. Over fifty years later, it seems only fitting that Emmy Award-winner Ava DuVernay would be chosen to direct the re-adaptation as the first black woman to direct a live-action film with a budget of over a $100 million.

Oprah Winfrey

The sudden disappearance of NASA scientist Dr. Alexander Murry (Chris Pine) has caused havoc on both his children Meg (Storm Reid) and Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) as well as his wife Dr. Kate Murry (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). This leads to gossiping among peers and bullying by classmates. The Murry family endures as best they can until three celestial visitors –  Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) –  come to help. Asking what appears to be the impossible, Meg, Charles Wallace, and a classmate Calvin O’Keefe (Levi Miller) seek to find Dr. Murry, who has been missing for the last four years. 

Mindy Kaling

Traveling through time and space by a process called tesseract to Uriel, a planet billions of light years away, the three children join Mrs. Whatsit, a spunky, form-changing character who interacts well with the children; Mrs. Who, a great linguist who recites insightful quotes when she cannot find her own words; and Mrs. Which, the most omniscient of the group. After arriving in Uriel, each child is made aware of their special talents. Calvin, a supportive, fearless boy whose agape love for Meg, is quite remarkable to watch as he unfolds. Charles Wallace, a telepathic genius with an extensive vocabulary, is extremely poised for his tender age of five. And Meg is a mathematic wiz, who, like many adolescent girls feels awkward about her appearance due to her curly, brown hair and large spectacles. 

Chris Pine

As the search begins for Meg’s father, the children encounter an evil darkness cast by the “It,” who rules from its planet called Camazotz. The It’s purpose is to cast confusion, jealousy, anger, fear, and pain throughout the world. Realizing that her father has been taken by this entity, Meg, Charles Wallace and Calvin embark on an unforgettable journey. 

The cinematography and use of color in this film is superb. From the use of aerial photography to the use of cinemagraphs, DuVernay takes the audience on a magical journey. More importantly, slogans such as “Be a Warrior,” and encouraging teaching moments that acknowledge “all hair is beautiful,” and to “embrace your faults,” should resonate well with both young girls and boys of all colors, backgrounds, and religions. Although L’Engle’s strong beliefs in the Christian faith didn’t rear as strongly in the movie as it did in her book, DuVernay does an excellent job of taking a timeless classic and turning it into a stunning re-adaptation.

Top photo: Reese Witherspoon and Storm Reid

Photos courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

About Jai Williams (75 Articles)
Jai Williams is a writer and photographer whose work has appeared on the award-winning site, Woman Around Town, Thrillist, The Daily Meal and Edible DC to name a few. Two of her photographs were selected for an exhibit at the Washington Historical Society, "For the Record: Artfully Historic D.C.", where “50 Most Endangered Places in D.C.” were highlighted. Her photographs can be seen in two books from Globe Pequot Press, "Discovering Vintage Washington, D.C." and "New York One-Food Wonders: A Guide to the Big Apple's Unique Single-Food Spots." After graduating from Texas A&M University, Jai moved to Virginia to further her education as well as her career. Visit her website https://www.januarijaimedia.com.