A Wrinkle in Time Redux

tuck austin associates wrinkle time redux
(L-R: me, Christina Cox, Kristi Tuck Austin, Lenore Gay, Diane Major)
Last Friday 5 A Wrinkle in Time (Re)Readers met at Bowtie Cinema for the movie. Great conversations before and after. I’ve often said that I never met a boring writer! And frankly, socializing was the Friday night gold; the movie, on the other hand, was barely bronze.


wrinkle in time movie poster
[Photo Source: Collider]
In the interests of full disclosure, I admit to a bias against Disney movies. They have “prettified” great fairy tales, which I find hard to forgive. But that said, there are specific reasons I think that in this case the book is much better.
One expects some things to be cut when a book becomes a movie. I, for one, didn’t mind that two of Meg’s brothers were cut. They played virtually no part in the book. On the other hand, I’m disappointed that all the science was cut, limited to a few scenes showing science-looking equipment. And contrary to the book, Meg’s father uses the phrase “wrinkle in time” right up front.


oprah mrs which wrinkle time redux
[Source: HelloGiggles]
But my biggest disappointment was that the movie changes the characters! In the book, Mrs. Which is barely there physically, having difficulty maintaining a corporeal form. In that role, Oprah Winfrey is the opposite. She is introduced as larger than life, a giant with sparkling makeup and clothes that reminded me of armor. Even at a human size, she dominates every scene in which she appears, and I was constantly aware that I was watching Oprah Winfrey playing a role.


wrinkle in time redux
[Source: Cosmopolitan]
I found the performance of Reese Witherspoon very appealing. I liked her insouciance and asides. But in the book Mrs. Whatsit never doubted Meg, her commitment, or her ability.


evil charles wallace wrinkle time redux
[Source: Disney Wiki]
I didn’t really mind the combination of the ultimate evil and the IT. I wasn’t sure what their separate spheres were in the book. And in the movie, I liked the images of the evil snaking out into the universe.


Which brings me to what I liked about the movie. Disney does special effects well. I especially liked the images of Mrs. Whatsit flying through space with the children on her back—though in the book, I don’t remember that the children also flew.


wrinkle time redux
Storm Reid and Deric McCabe were great as Meg and Charles Wallace! They were believable, rich, and true to their characters in the book.


I applaud the cross-cultural, cross-race depictions. On the other hand, by the end of the movie, I felt as though making sure every couple as well as the three Mrs. were multiracial was a bit forced.


Last but not least, where the book is sophisticated the movie is a sledge hammer: light and love conquer darkness and evil. But I guess however one gets the message, the message is good.
wrinkle in time 1970
[Source: Wikipedia]
Read the book and see for yourself! What do you think?

In Praise of Rereading

praise rereading dorothy sayers
For decades my escapist reading—with few exceptions—was mysteries. Once you know who did it, what would be the point? The one exception for me was Dorothy L. Sayers.  My motivation for rereading the Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane mysteries was to discover the early clues and figure out how she built to the big reveal. But I also discovered that Sayers’ characters—clear, distinct, and appealing—grew and developed.


I seldom read non-mysteries then, and rereads were even rarer. Two of those exceptions were Austen and Mitchell. They both were mirrors reflecting a period in history and characters that reside in real people, regardless of historical period.


praise rereading diana gabaldon books
Not too long ago I read and then reread Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I reread because this is a far ranging saga. By the time certain characters play a major role I’d lost track of earlier cameo appearances. On rereading, I could appreciate how intricately interwoven the people, places and events were. Having written only two books with repeating characters (Dark Harbor and Tiger Heart) I marvel that the details didn’t trip over each other, that they didn’t contradict themselves, and that the characters matured (as opposed to changed).
new genre new year maas
More recently I read Sarah J. Maas’ series Throne of Glass. And now I am rereading it. Partly that’s because of the great experience rereading Gabaldon. But in addition, Maas has created a whole new world. As fantasy fiction, she’s created a new physical world, but also new history, new creatures, and new personal powers. The first read familiarized me with these aspects of the series. Like Gabaldon, Maas has characters who grow and change over time—but her timeframe is much more compacted. And as a series targeting young adults, I became very aware of the meta-messages inherent in the plot and characters.


winston graham books
My experience is that rereading a series is especially gratifying. Perhaps it should be required—in the interest of fully appreciating the author’s creativity and craft.


I’ve now committed to reading A Wrinkle in Time between now and March 9, prior to the movie premiere. It was touted as a reread. For me, it will be a read. My youngest daughter has read it many times. Her older daughter has read it. Her younger daughter received it for Christmas but hasn’t read it yet. Could I resist such a recommendation?


And the best part is, this is the first book in a series. There may be more rereads in my future!


Bottom line: Reread a favorite you haven’t read for several years. Is it as good as you remembered? Better? Different? Let me know.


Wrinkle Re-Read