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March 09, 2018

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Sometimes all you can do is hope that the movie will lead people to the book.

We're also a Wrinkle-in-Time-loving household, and we never quite recovered from the terrible made-for-TV-movie version of 2004, so my husband's knee-jerk reaction is not to see. However, I think NPR's Linda Holmes often makes good points in her reviews, and she (also a fan of the book, apparently) sounded cautiously optimistic. So I'll probably wait until the DVD if I see it, but sometime I might give it a try.

I think this review sums up my fears realized:

https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/culture/2018/3/7/17091370/wrinkle-in-time-review-oprah-witherspoon-kaling-reid-duvernay-madeleine-lengle-christian?utm_campaign=alissamarie&utm_content=chorus&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&__twitter_impression=true

Slight correction to my comment: not sure Linda Holmes is familiar with the book (misremembered part of the review). Still, her review's worth reading.

Watching the trailers and reading reviews have left me convinced that I would be gravely disappointed in the movie. But I'm usually dissatisfied by adaptations of my favorite books. Adaptations almost always excise my very favorite parts. I'm pretty sure this film version does that. What is left might be an ok movie, but it wouldn't be the story that I actually love.

I'm also nervous: I'm skeptical of all the the sparkles. But then again, if I look at them sideways, as an expression of the JOY of Mrs. Who/Which/Whatsit, I become a little more hopeful.

I also saw a link to the song Sade has done for the movie -- and again, I was skeptical. I've never been a fan of hers, although I *respect* her: I acknowledge her and admire her as a musician, but have never particularly gone out to look for music of hers to listen to. It's not about her: it's just me, and style preferences.

Well. Her low, gentle, grown-up voice is exactly perfectly right for this exquisite piece of music. I was in tears before the end of the first refrain.

If the song is any indication, I think they might get the "love" part right.

Both the WSJ and Steven Greydanus were disappointed, alas. Here's Greydanus: xhttps://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/sdg-reviews-a-wrinkle-in-time

I like the AV Club reviews

https://www.avclub.com/a-wrinkle-in-time-alternates-clumsiness-with-moments-of-1823544816

I saw it. I liked it a lot. They kept the theme (rather explicitly to be sure) that "that humanity lives under a shadow, but the shadow can be overcome." There was a call to Meg to join the ranks of warriors against the shadow, explicitly framing it as a call to goodness (although their list of goodness was even heavier towards scientists). The love scene was done really well, I thought, calling out both Meg's love and how sure she was of Charles Wallace's love (with some cinematic action and visuals added because it's a movie not a book).

Sometimes it felt like it went a bit slowly so we could appreciate the gorgeous special effects but the kid with me loved that. They simplified Meg's family and I wasn't completely sold on Charles Wallace until the end when I think he really nailed it.

Scalzi wrote a review about his positive response:
https://whatever.scalzi.com/2018/03/11/thoughts-on-a-wrinkle-in-time/

I went and read the vox.com review, and I fundamentally disagree with one criticism -- that they left out that part where Meg is angry with her dad especially when he doesn't magically fix everything. And I think that they sameness thing isn't the only problem with It's homeworld and it's all right to focus on different things.

They streamlined the story (again, in a way that makes sense for a movie) so that it as done differently, but it's made clear that Meg has a special relationship to tessering because of her strong will. It's hard for other people to tesser her. And at the part where thing look grim and she and her dad disagree (I'm trying to avoid spoilers) I think thematically we are seeing what the book does through several scene changes and conversations and the movie does through action.

It's hard to see a movie made of a beloved book because they will leave out some bits (maybe your favorite) and do some different, but I got the feeling from this movie that people involved knew and appreciated the source material even if we didn't completely match up with our favorite bits (for example, they use the line where Charles Wallace wants to be "exclusive" with Meg, but since the twins are gone it doesn't really make sense but clearly the movie people loved the hot chocolate scene and refused to let it go).

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