The Ava DuVernay-directed A Wrinkle in Time, based on Madeline L’Engle’s classic work, is in theaters now. While the reviews are still coming in, early indications are that DuVernay’s casting of Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling is spot on! If the film is anything like the book, we could be see a 2019 Oscar contender for the best page-to-screen film of the year.
If you are like us and looking forward to see what Hollywood has cooked up, you will definitely enjoy this piece from February 24, 2016 on the announcement of the film and the early buzz on Twitter.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle started all the trouble. I had never seen a book like it—a story that ventured into outer space that included siblings, science, stars, strange civilizations, tesseracts, angels and an awkward, intelligent girl who saves her father and brother. A girl like me was the heroine of a story! I was spellbound and racked up library fines as I reread it and reread it. It made me a science fiction fan and newly aware that a girl could be the hero of her own story. It was more foundational than any other book I read as a child.
So it was no wonder that the interwebs thrummed with excitement when it was announced that the dream team of Ava DuVernay as director (Selma) and Jennifer Lee as screenwriter (Frozen) were in development of a new, live action film.
I’m not alone in my love and appreciation of A Wrinkle in Time. A casual inquiry on Twitter and Facebook yielded plenty of passionate fans.
And the book hasn’t only reached young girls. Boys loved the book, too. Artist and educator Karl Stephan said on Facebook, “ I read a lot as a child but this is the first book I recall really transporting me to another reality.”
Librarian friends confirmed love for this novel that appears on all the lists for best scifi. A friend at @Somers_Library in Somers, NY tweeted:
@AuthorCrush It was one of my favorite books!!
— Somers Library (@Somers_Library) February 24, 2016
They even confirmed it continues to have a healthy circulation 54 years after it was first published. Perhaps the most profound comment was from playwright V.E. Kimberlin:
“A Wrinkle in Time is probably my all-time favorite book, and as I grew to adulthood, the one that shaped me most as a person and a writer. Although it may echo the comments of everyone else, I felt I WAS Meg Murry. I first read A Wrinkle in Time when I was an ugly duckling 12 year-old in 1970; and like Meg, I lived in a small repressive Southern town that still clung to the McCarthy paranoia of the 50s. Every few years I’m compelled to reread the book and rediscover its wonder and wisdom – and decades later, as a professional writer, I’m still Meg. And the message of A Wrinkle in Time has never been more relevant than today.”
There was a television mini-series version of A Wrinkle in Time produced in Canada in 2003, foolishly cut down to a 128-minute movie and distributed by Disney in the US. But we have faith that DuVernay and Lee will make the book come to life in a captivating new way. Maybe they’ll even tap some of the great older actresses as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which. How great would it be to see Leslie Uggams, Dame Maggie Smith and Nichelle Nichols? Or Phylicia Rashad, Dame Judi Dench and Rita Moreno?
Did you see the film this weekend? What did the book mean to you? Let us know in the comments!