Many geeky, imaginative children grew up with their faces jammed into a copy of Madeleine L’Engle’s book A wrinkle in time. It is the story of a family of scientific and mathematical geniuses who become entangled in a physics experiment that has metaphysical implications. This new film adaptation strikes the perfect balance between grisly horror and beautiful, Wizard of Oz-like wonder landscapes.
A wrinkle in time is the first book in a trilogy that is, in fact, the precursor to Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials books. It’s science fiction that takes seriously the idea that sufficiently advanced technology resembles magic. Our hero Meg’s father has discovered how to use a five-dimensional tesseract to “fold” time and instantly travel great distances in space. When he goes missing, Meg is visited by three mysterious women who are essentially aliens, witches and scientists all in one. They tell Meg that only she can save her father, so she “tests” on dimensions to find him, accompanied by her little brother Charles Wallace and their friend Calvin (both geniuses, of course).
Along the way, they encounter terrifying and astonishing alien worlds, and eventually they head to a confrontation in an authoritarian world run by a computer. We catch a glimpse of this world in the trailer, where all the kids bounce their balls together. It seems that some of the adventures from the book will be saved for the movie.
A wrinkle in time will be directed by Ava DuVernay, who previously directed Selma and In the middle of no man’s land, which won a Sundance Best Director Award. She’s best known for her brilliant character studies, which is perfect for this coming-of-age story where bookworm Meg must find her inner action hero. Plus, the images look suitably weird and stunning.
The most important of A wrinkle in time is that it’s an Oz-esque adventure that gets really dark and philosophical. Meg is not going to a candy-colored fantasy world. It only looks that way because humans cannot comprehend the scientific reality of the universe. The more they understand, the more terrifying it becomes.
A wrinkle in time will hit theaters on March 9, 2018. I can not wait.
List image by Disney