If you are among the tens of millions who admire the book, written by Madeleine L’Engle, a best seller through the years, expect disappointment, much disappointment, with this new film from Disney.
Can I start by saying with the astonishing accomplishments in visual effects through the last thirty years, could they not have done better here? I mean it is Disney, who spend tens of millions on the effects for Star Wars, but they could not do slightly better here? There are times when the effects look pre-seventies, as cheesy as those in Babarella (1968) while the colours, though impressive in their brightness tend to overpower.
When will Hollywood learn that Oprah Winfrey, who can apparently walk on water in some circles, simply isn’t a great actor. Winfrey simply lacks the depth as an actress. Here she plays one of three almighty beings who help guide children on a search for a father lost in a wrinkle in time. Most of her performance consists of uttering platitudes meant to inspire, but eventually have all the power of a toothpaste commercial. She tosses out famous quotes from Gandhi, Shakespeare, from everyone in history it seems but nobody cares. If I had to hear one more time what warriors the kids were, I might have turned in my press pass.
With Winfrey on this ego trip is the ever perky Reese Witherspoon, who once in a while proves she can act, Election (1999), Wild (2014) but more often than not is just annoying onscreen, as she is here as the most visible, and unwelcome, of these overseers. “Let’s go get him!” she says about finding their father, like a harpy cheerleader, you read that right, harpy. Yep, sure, with a smile and chirpy voice she invites the kids to move into another dimension to find their father. Um, OK.
The story is about believing in yourself, finding the courage to reach down and do what might terrify you. The only thing that terrified me as I exited the screening was the possibility I might have to sit through this nightmare of a movie once again when it comes out on Blu Ray.
Three young kids, approaching their teenage years go on what should be an extraordinary adventure (it is not) instead of what we all get (ordinary). Stunned, still mourning the disappearance and loss of their scientist father, portrayed by Chris Pine in what amounts to little more than a cameo, Meg (Storm Reid), her brother Charles (Deric McCabe) and their mother, also a scientist, Kate (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) are trying to get on with their lives. They discover his disappearance is somehow linked to the appearance into their lives of three unique, magical beings, Mrs. Whatsit (Witherspoon), Mrs. Which (Winfrey) and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) and when offered the chance to go to find their father, the kids head out, with Meg’s boyfriend, well crush, along for the ride.