by Abigail Czerniecki ’19
Fans across the world have been awaiting the premiere of the new movie A Wrinkle in Time starring Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, Chris Pine, Mindy Kaling, Zach Galifianakis, and Storm Reid. Based on the novel by Madeleine L’Engle, the movie was able to stay true to the plot with its own creative twists.
Director Ava DuVernay took on the challenge of adapting the 1962 novel, A Wrinkle in Time, by moving it to the big screen—which many directors thought would be impossible to do. With the movie’s 103 million-dollar budget, the outcome of its first weekend premiere did not match its high budget film with its first box office ticket sale only at $33.3 million. With the low ticket sales this past weekend came weak reviews from critics as well as receiving a 43 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, moviegoers were left with very few smiles.
Critic Jacob Shamsian of Insider wrote that Disney’s fantasy epic failed at the box office because of its targeted younger audience, the failure to click as a story, and it was not a sequel or spin off of a movie like Beauty and the Beast. The New York Times also expressed similar opinions as Shamsian, explaining, “If you hadn’t read the book (and maybe even if you had) and wanted concrete answers to these and a dozen other cosmic questions the movie leaves ambiguous, you might have left the theater disappointed, or just confused.”
Although the movie received weak reviews after the premiere, the message of the movie is critically acclaimed. Not only is DuVernay breaking down gender walls as she became the first African-American woman to direct a movie with a budget over $100 million, the movie also has a diverse cast, as well as a plot that encourages young adults to be warriors in today’s society. DuVernay commented on the films message in an interview with NPR. “The battle of light and dark, the moral battles that are happening with the characters in the film, certainly figure into what folks might be thinking about right now—politically, culturally, economically,” she said. “It existed for the author at the time that she wrote it…and certainly we haven’t combatted those issues now. So this material still resonates today.” DuVernay thought this movie was the perfect time to “tell a story about fighting darkness with light.”
Although A Wrinkle in Time received poor reviews, films such as A Wrinkle in Time have begun to change the typical big screen film with its diversity and its female-led cast.