Thursday, March 15, 2018

Weekly Rec: A Wrinkle in Time

The novel A Wrinkle in Time is important to me - I wrote my college thesis on Madeleine L'Engle's work - and so I was both excited and worried when I heard that it was going to be a big feature film. LUCKILY, my excitement was justified and my worry was unnecessary. This movie was a complete delight; it did a great job of retaining everything important about the novel while updating things to feel contemporary and relevant to today's kids. Ava DuVernay did a great job executing her vision, and the whole cast was great but ESPECIALLY star Storm Reid as Meg.

It's natural to get upset about changes when a book you love is adapted, though I always find it useful to remember that no one is actually taking the original version away from you and you can ignore the adaptation entirely if you wish. But in this case I don't want to ignore it! It's great! I had a few moments of "That's not MY xyz" at the beginning, but then I made a conscious decision to let go and see the movie on its own terms, and I loved it. I especially like that this version has a young black girl saving the world with a white boy as her sidekick - I think that's a great thing for ALL kids to see. (The change that I liked least was the erasure of Meg's brothers Sandy and Dennys, but ah well, I get it.)

There's also been some talk about the movie being less explicitly Christian than the novel. I understand that disappointment if you're going in looking for something that is specific to your own religion, but I actually loved what they did with it in this area: they very much kept the important points of L'Engle's philosophy and theology while diversifying the great thinkers quoted and making L'Engle's outlook accessible to wider variety of kids from all sorts of backgrounds. Jesus is not mentioned by name as he is in the book, but what L'Engle believed is important about Jesus was very much there.

This was a movie that was fun, occasionally scary, intellectually and philosophically interesting, and inspirational, all at once. Go see it, and bring any kids you have around.

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