Against my better judgment I broke down and watched A Wrinkle in Time Monday night. The upside is that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be; the downside is that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
First of all, I want everyone to know that I wasn’t expecting the movie to come even close to the book. I ranked Wrinkle with Confederacy of Dunces in terms of unfilmability. (Note to Hollywood: Don’t even think of greenlighting Confederacy unless you cast Oliver Platt as Ignatius) So it was a little disheartening to realize the movie embodied the paradox about a certain kind of film adaptation: it wasn’t great, but it was obviously produced by someone who really cared about the book, which made watching it a maddening experience. Though spiritually and textually devoted to Wrinkle in spots, it veered into über-exposition at critical points. It was as if the producers/directors/powers-that-be didn’t trust non-Wrinkle fans getting it unless they made plot-points really, really obvious. So what did they do? They sucked the life out of it.
There were some high points, though:
- Alfre Woodard – she’s not how I envisioned Mrs. Whatsit, but it’s a brilliant choice. Alfre is the poster child when it comes to African-American actors and their lack of recognition in Hollywood: rent Crooklyn and then explain to me why she wasn’t nominated for an Academy Award.
- Kyle Secor as the Prime Coordnator. Mmmm…Kyle….
- Alison Elliott as Mrs. Who: her voice sounded as if she were channeling Billie Burke in her Glenda the Good Witch persona, but hey–it worked for me.
- David Dorfman: he’s exactly how I visualized Charles Wallace physically.
- Did I mention Kyle Secor??
And I promise I won’t use the word “wrinkle” in a blog title for at least three months….