I finally saw A Wrinkle in Time, via Red Box. It was a trippy, colorful, spacey adventure great for kids.
The movie made waves early in promotional days when it was revealed the typically white heroine would be portrayed by Storm Reid, a young lady who is neither typical nor white. And what a fantastic choice this casting was.
Unfortunately, A Wrinkle in Time (2018) was not the blockbuster it really wanted to be. With a slow beginning that bogs down the pace and the hard-to-follow rules of the fantasy world, it didn’t meet high expectations.
It reminds me of the hype when Lucy (2014) came out. Forget what movie that is? So did most everybody else. But it was originally hyped to show off an actiony female heroine. It just couldn’t help the fact that it was unnervingly stupid.
But you can’t place all your expectations on one movie. You just rejoice in the fact that it exists and it signals a shift in cultural representation.
A Wrinkle in Time could have been a bomb with white leads. It could have been a re-hash of the 2003 Canadian attempt at a television-based adaptation. When author Madeleine L’Engle saw that, she told Newsweek, “I have glimpsed it…I expected it to be bad, and it is.”
So bad in fact that the actors refused to open their eyes in this pic. Maybe.
What’s important is that Director Ava DuVernay took the opportunity to film a very difficult to adapt novel with actors and crew of all colors, genders, etc.
To get that diverse cast and crew, DuVernay didn’t have to do anything fancy. She didn’t have an inclusion rider, or special contract. To put it simply, she just made sure the production hired great people of all kinds and colors. That’s something we need to see more of.
The 2018 version by Disney may not have made a huge profit, but it showed a young capable girl of a mixed race family, with numerous roles in her world filled by diverse people. It put a normal lens on a medium that usually paints the world in bland colors. I’d like to think more than a few young girls saw this and were inspired. And if that’s all it did? Maybe it accomplished what it set out to do.