So, of course, I went to see A Wrinkle in Time. How could I not? As I sat down in the mid-afternoon theatre, with a handful of other old women, I realized that I (and, probably, all of us) had been waiting over half a century for this.
That’s a long time and I’ve read and re-read the book (and the other books in its trilogy and the other trilogies spun off from it) so many times that it’s difficult to imagine that any movie could do justice to the book in my imagination, to the book that really changed my fifth grade life.
And, it did take a few minutes — five or six — for me to adjust. The story isn’t set in a New England farmhouse! Meg isn’t lost in a family of boys! Her mother doesn’t cook stew on a bunsen burner! And, in the interests of making a movie, some of the story elements were omitted (Aunt Beast — just a flicker on the screen!) or elided (the principal!). Charles Wallace was too much of a smart ass and not as vulnerable as he needed to be.
But, within just a short time the movie grabbed me and took me where the book has always done. I cried — a lot. And, walked out of the theatre more myself than when I went in. That’s my test for a good book — or movie.
The men in the story are really good. It may be the first and only time I’ve seen a father be that nurturing and selfless, the first time I’ve seen the male romantic lead be that selflessly supportive. I love the idea of giving young men these role models.
Thanks, Madeline. Thanks, Ava.
(Ms. L’Engle was a devoted Christian and she wrote the Mrs. Ws as angels. They work.)