Having watched back-to-back both A Wrinkle in Time and The 15:17 to Paris, I explain in detail why the first is garbage and the second truly uplifting.
My trip to Japan involved a lot of airplane time, during which I was able to watch two movies that came out earlier this year: A Wrinkle in Time and The 15:17 to Paris, one of which I hated and the other of which I loved. That means it’s time for another one of my belated movie review posts. (Belated because I seldom go to theaters to see first run movies, instead catching them when I fly or when they show up on television.)
A Wrinkle in Time
I really, truly loathed this movie. I didn’t loath it because of the superficial changes it made to Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved 1962 book, but because of the deep changes.
Indeed, many of the superficial changes made sense, either for visual reasons, time constraints, to address some modern sensibilities, or to resonate more strongly with today’s teenagers. For that reason, although I adore the book and know it well, it didn’t trouble me that the Murry family was now mixed race (white father, black mother, adopted Asian son); that the Murry twins were missing (they add nothing to the plot); that Calvin has black hair not red; that Mrs. Whatsit turns into a giant leaf, not a unicorn (choosing visual pretties over magnificence); that Aunt Beast only made a one-second cameo (again, those time constraints); that the Happy Medium was male, not female (although Zach Galifianakis is horrible in the role); or even that Reese Witherspoon played Mrs. Whatsit as a glamorous bitch, rather than a daffy, loving bag lady (a choice clearly made to pander to Witherspoon’s ego).
I also tried hard not to be bothered by Oprah’s presence in the film. I loath the woman because I believe that she’s been a significant contributor to the dumbing down of America, replacing reason with feelings. Still, she’s not an awful actress and I even took a certain twisted pleasure in the bizarre make-up and costume choices, all of which, rather than making her look like a star (of the celestial, not the Hollywood, type) whose spirit took human form, instead made her look like a really bad drag queen: [Read more…]