As soon as I saw a trailer for Disney’s A Wrinkle In Time a few months ago, I knew I wanted to see it, and I knew I wanted to write this A Wrinkle In Time review. The preview was visually stunning, and (as most previews are) intriguing enough to make me order the classic book by Madeline L’Engle on Amazon for both my eleven-year-old daughter and I to read. You see, despite being an avid reader my whole life, I’d never read it. Both my daughter and I really enjoyed the book, and so last night, with much anticipation, we ditched my older son’s band concert (Dad had things under control) and went to see the first possible showing so that I could write this A Wrinkle In Time review on opening weekend.
Storm Reid is absolutely fantastic as the young heroine, Meg Murry. Photo: Disney
Since I am a Christian and this website is faith-based, I’m going to tell you why (or not) Christian parents might want to take their kids to this movie, but let me be clear: this is a movie ANYONE of ANY faith could enjoy. And that is, at least in part, because it is fairly different from the book. But more on that in a second.
No spoilers, but if you haven’t read the book, you need to know that A Wrinkle In Time centers around the family of 12(ish)-year-old Meg Murry, (young actress Storm Reid, who is FANTASTIC) whose scientist father has been missing for four years. On the 4th anniversary of his disappearance, three beautiful celestial beings come to lead Meg, her little brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin out in to the universe to find him.
Let me pause here to say, that for the rest of my life, I’d like to have Reese Witherspoon’s (Mrs. Whatsit) eyeshadow and Oprah Winfrey’s (Mrs. Who) lipstick in every scene. FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE I wanna be all glitter lips and glitter eyes because the way they had these ladies made up was breathtaking! Mindy Kaling’s (Mrs. Which) makeup wasn’t as fab but her costumes and hair were amazing and on par with the other ladies. In fact, the entire movie is very visually pleasing, and in most cases, STUNNING. Ava DuVernay’s directing is truly wonderful.
I KNOW I could pull off this glitter look in real life…right?! Photos: Disney
Ok, so: back to the issue at hand. Though DuVernay’s directing, as I said, is sublime, it WILL help you to have read the book first, as once the action gets going, you are popping in an out of scenes and planets at a rapid pace, and it is DEFINITELY a mix of fantasy and science fiction that can be hard to keep up with if you’re not already in the know. SO, get that book! It’s a QUICK read, honestly. Listen to it on audio with your kiddos at a bare minimum before you go, is what I would encourage you to do if you’re not familiar.
For younger kids, there are some scary parts. It definitely stands up to the PG rating and is clean as a whistle, but it is a classic battle between good and evil (in a not-so-classic setting) and the evil can get pretty evil. However, it is devoid of blood, guts, gore, or death, and full of positivity.
Which leads me to the faith elements: in Madeline L’Engle’s book, while not overtly “Christian” has quite a few Christian references and themes, noticeably quoting scripture a few times. You will not find this in the movie. Mrs. Which, who communicates by using famous quotes, harkens the words of Ghandi, for instance, and the movie can feel a little “one with the universe”-y at times.
But parents, none of it is BAD. Honestly, if you and your kids like fantasy (and we all know Narnia is fantasy and totally #StuffChristiansLike), you will like this movie AND you will easily be able to use it to talk about spiritual things with your kids. One thing that is still, after forty years of life, sometimes hard for me to accept, grasp, and realize is that spiritual warfare is REAL. The Bible tells us it is multiple, multiple times. Ephesians literally tells us to SUIT UP FOR BATTLE by putting on the Armor of God every single day, and still we don’t get it. Yet, once the action got going in A Wrinkle In Time, it was ALL I could think about. Spiritual warfare, man. Meg’s battle to rescue her father (and soon, her younger brother who becomes trapped by the evil force known as IT), is 100% spiritual warfare. DuVernay, her talented crew, and actors, bring spiritual warfare to life in this film, and Christian parents should not miss the chance to discuss this with their kids. The “Mrs.” even show Meg how the IT, the EVIL in the universe, affects her friends and family on earth. This brief scene in the film was SO powerful to me, as it showed Meg how evil caused her classmate who bullied Meg to have an eating disorder, caused other teachers at her school were jealous of her principal, and caused her friend Calvin’s dad to berate him for not being good enough. This scene provides an AMAZING conversation starter for our kids about spiritual warfare in their own lives. The “Powers and Principalities” are DEFINITELY on display, but so is the power of LOVE, brought by Meg, who like you, me, and our kids, is an Image Bearer of GOD.
Another thing I REALLY like that is true to the book and featured in the movie is that one of the celestial beings, Mrs. Whatsit (Reese of the Amazing Eye Makeup), leaves Meg to fight her spiritual battle against Evil with a special gift. “I give you your faults,” Mrs. Whatsit says. I was so, so glad they included this in the movie, because it was a part in the book that really touched me. As I was growing up, when I exhibited particular stubbornness, grumpiness, or indignation, my dad would chuckle and say, “Girl, you got every bad trait I have.” And you know what? I LOVED THAT. Because I could see in my dad, how EVERY part of his character made him a really great guy. And it made me so happy to know that he thought I was like him, even in those ways. My faults have been a gift, my imperfections have shaped me. And in A Wrinkle In Time, Meg’s God-given faults save HER, too, and not just her…her entire family. FAULTS! This movie encourages our kids to be okay with their FAULTS! It’s a much-needed message in how ALL things work together for good to those who are called according to His purpose (a Bible verse the book cites, by the way, that the movie does not.)
Bottom line: like the book, the movie is a little “out there” – but like I said, it’s FANTASY! It is also very well made, spectacularly acted, emotional, and portrays positive views of adoption, family commitment, and LOVE. I cannot stress enough what great talking points about spiritual warfare and God’s power in our lives this movie provides, even though it is not as “Christian” as the book. And though there are DEFINITELY things that are different than the book (I know some plots points must be removed to keep the movie from being 3-4 hours long), it is not unfaithful to the tale or a major departure from the feel, message or intent of the original work.
Also, this movie contains a LOT of glitter. Like, a bunch. I think Glitter might be up for best supporting actress in this film. But it’s still great. 🙂
I hope you enjoyed my A Wrinkle in Time review, and I hope you give it a chance! But don’t just go SEE it with your kids — TALK about it. Or, they might miss the spiritual warfare and come away with thinking they’re one with the universe, after all. 😉
Have you read A Wrinkle in Time, and are you planning to see the movie? Why or why not?