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A Wrinkle in Time (2003)

Cast: Katie Stuart, Katie Stuart, Alfre Woodard, more...
Director: John Kent Harrison, John Kent Harrison
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Dimension
Genre: Kids, Science Fiction , Time Travel, Live Action
Running Time: 128 min.
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Synopsis
A pair of misfit siblings travel across time and space to save their father from enslavement in this made-for-TV adaptation of the classic children's novel by Madeleine L'Engle. Meg Murry (Katie Stuart), a tomboy who fits in with neither the kids nor the teachers at her New England middle school, feels bereft when her scientist father vanishes, leading to unsavory speculation from small-town gossips. But thanks to Charles Wallace (David Dorfman), her gifted but idiosyncratic younger brother, Meg befriends Mrs. Who (Alison Elliott), Mrs. Whatsit (Alfre Woodard), and Mrs. Which (Kate Nelligan) -- three cosmic beings who lead Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin O'Keefe (Gregory Smith) on a journey to the sinister planet Camazotz, where Dr. Murry (Chris Potter) has been captured by the coercive power known as IT. Afflicted by hubris and na´vetÚ, young Charles Wallace falls under IT's thrall, forcing Meg, Calvin, and their allies on a dangerous flight across time and space. But thanks to the healing touch of a kindly monster known as Aunt Beast (Ellen Dubin), Meg is able to face her own insecurities and attempt a final rescue of her loved ones. Originally broadcast May 10, 2004, on ABC, A Wrinkle in Time was released as an installment of the long-running Wonderful World of Disney. ~ Brian J. Dillard, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Skip this mockery! by scarfman December 14, 2004 - 9:35 AM PST
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4 out of 4 members found this review helpful
A Wrinkle in Time is a beloved classic enjoyed by millions over the past four decades. If you've read the book, do yourself a favor and skip the worst adaptation I have ever had the displeasure of seeing. If you haven't read the book, you should still skip this one and go read it -- or find some other (any other) productive way to spend the two hours this movie stole from me.

While any adaptation from book to movie will inevitably have changes or details left out, Disney has taken a perfectly good storyline with a nice logical flow, and substituted something with only loosely resembles Madeleine L'Engle's novel. Some transgressions might be forgiven -- like Charles Wallace does not attend school in this novel. However, when the movie shows us fundamental changes in character and tone, the line must be drawn. Mrs. Which is never as mean nor as condescending in the novel, Calvin has no real motivation or function in this version, Charles Wallace is just creepy (kudos to the actor for portraying what the script demanded, but this was not the character Ms. L'Engle wrote), and they might as well have written Mrs. Who out since her character does so little.

Moreover, Camazotz is nothing like in the novel. Though sinister and totalitarian, in the novel the creep factor comes from the the fact that it looks so normal, so ordinary -- perhaps too normal. Instead the movie visually shouts out THIS PLACE IS BAD! And this is really where Disney takes the opportunity to just plain make things up. Whole scenes that never happened in the novel abound (what's with the giant books?), crucial scenes stripped of proper context and motivation (why have Meg do square roots?), logical sequence right out the window (why challenge the Man with the Red Eyes after Father has already been found?).

One might argue that if you haven't read the book, you won't be missing anything. I would argue that the script writers did such a hack job with stuff they just pulled out of thin air that this movie cannot stand on its own. There is just too much left unexplained with its flat characters and flat presentation. A few glitzy -- but too long -- special effects cannot save it. Such an abomination of a movie from an award-winning book should be criminal.

If I could give this movie a negative rating, I would.





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