Hi, hi, do you have time to talk about our lord and saviour A Wrinkle in Time?
This is the first instalment of a new series of posts tha I’m starting, which will highlight extremely exciting-looking upcoming movies which people should be, I’m just saying, EXTREMELY EXCITED FOR. This is a series to thank the world that these movies are happening, as well as to be oh SO HAPPY THAT THEY’RE GOING TO EXIST.
(Disclaimer: I cannot guarantee that any of these movies will actually be good when they come out. However, if this particular movie is somehow bad then I will believe that there truly is no formula for good cinema.)
Anyway. First up, A Wrinkle in Time.
Quick question: would you like to see a science fiction/ fantasy movie starring a little girl? How about the daughter of two scientists played by Gugu Mbatha and Chris Pine? What if I were to mention this movie also stars Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Michael Pena and OPRAH? And is shot in beautiful New Zealand?
This movie is A Wrinkle in Time.
Based on the 1963 book by Madeline L’Engle, this looks like an incredibly beautiful movie. The plot focuses on a young girl named Meg Murray and her genius 5 year old brother Charles Wallace, as they investigate their father’s disappearance following his work on the ‘Tesseract’ project. They also run into three inter-dimensional beings called Mrs Who, Mrs Whatsit and Mrs Which, played respectively by Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon, and Oprah, who may just be the new Holy Trinity.
This movie can definitely be described as a process of love; the creators are finally getting a shot at their passion project. This movie first appeared on my radar as a Jennifer Lee project: the Frozen writer and co-director used the studio brownie points she gained with Frozen to finally get traction on her passion project.
Lee is A Wrinkle in Time’s scriptwriter. As much as people like to hate on Frozen I do think we should give her credit for:
- a) Making one of the highest grossing films of all time about sisterly love.
- b) Making Disney princesses simultaneously feminine and messy and flawed (which has definitely been seen to some degree in many Disney princesses but really reached peak point for me in Frozen).
And just to top off this movie-making ice cream sundae: the director. Ava Duvernay, director of the Oscar nominated movies The 13th and Selma, is finally getting her big blockbuster movie. It broke my movie news heart when she was briefly but unsuccessfully courted for Black Panther, but she has finally got her mainstream movie break with A Wrinkle in Time. This movie also makes her the first African American woman to direct a movie with a budget which exceeds $100 million.
Although there’s a tinge of sadness it didn’t happen sooner (and a slight feeling of twice as hard for half as much), there’s a certain beauty in a film that feels like so many people are finally getting their dues. Lee worked her way up at Disney and impressed them with her take on the novel enough to get her favourite childhood novel made. Ava Duvernay worked her way through film industry public relations, before progressing from indie films to Oscar nominated films to her first shot at the mainstream (we’ll talk about her follow up in another one of these episodes). I’m also so happy that this movie will finally give Mindy Kaling an onscreen role in a big budget movie (I could do a whole separate rant on the wasted lack of big screen time for Mindy Kaling).
All of this fantastic talent finally getting their just desserts combines to result in a disney science-fiction movie starring a little non-white girl, written by a women, directed by a women and with a cast filled with women. And when I say women, I don’t just mean white women. How could you NOT be excited for this movie???
A Wrinkle in Time is currently set to be released March 9th in the US.