Ava Duvernay's first attempt at a blockbuster premiered on Monday night, and early reactions are mixed.
A Wrinkle In Time is DuVernay's adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle's 1962 children book of the same name. Coming from the critical successes of Selma and 13th, the female filmmaker hopped to the blockbuster territory with this Disney epic about a girl (Storm Reid) looking for his lost father (Chris Pine).
Set to wide release on Marth 9, this adaptation is expected to further progressive ideas and celebrate cultural significance after the recent Africa-centric hit Black Panther. The intentionally diverse cast includes Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Zach Galifianakis, Mindy Kaling, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. It's also the first movie directed by a black woman with a budget over $100 million.
After the Monday night world premiere, the audiences quickly jumped to social media to share their thoughts. There is a lot of admiration for Reid's performance and DuVernay's visuals and emotional impact.
My second viewing of #WrinkleInTime and it was beautiful to watch and witness! The visual effects were groundbreaking and I loved the performances from these actors. Kids and adults will love and appreciate this film!— Jamie “I Am Meg Murry” Broadnax (@JamieBroadnax) February 27, 2018
Very emotional after seeing #WrinkleInTime. All I can say is @stormreid is a powerhouse! brought me to tears!! RUN TO SEE THIS FILM!!! Thank you @ava and Disney for giving little girls everywhere a superhero. #BeAWarrior— jurnee smollett (@jurneesmollett) February 27, 2018
Loved the message and story from the book and love how @ava transformed it for the big screen. Also, it was heartwarming seeing other directors like Ryan Coogler and JJ Abrams show their support at the premiere. #WrinkleInTime— Kirbie Johnson (@kirbiejohnson) February 27, 2018
Kat Candler, the showrunner of DuVernay's TV series Queen Sugar praises the inspiring influences.
Geek Girl Diva relates to the main character and compliments the movie's heart.
Now that I can tell you, I really enjoyed #WrinkleInTime. @ava's made a gorgeous film that's full of emotion and wonder.— Geek Girl Diva (@geekgirldiva) February 27, 2018
As someone who lost her father at 11 years old, certain things really resonated & I found myself crying multiple times.
Still, film critics from CinemaBlend and The Playlist weigh in on the movie's weak narrative and lack of zeal.
So #WrinkleInTime is visually ambitious and very faithful to the source material. However, it’s also kind of all over the place and doesn’t quite land the themes of the book.Chris Pine is a standout & Ava DuVernay deserves credit for what she does with a nearly unfilmable novel— Conner Schwerdtfeger (@ConnerWS) February 27, 2018
Since embargo is up...saw A Wrinkle In Time...it's intentions are noble, but this adaptation doesn't work. Movie has a ton of issues. Loved the Sade and Demi Lovato songs tho. Looking forward to what Ava does next.— GregoryEllwood - 4 Quadrant on iTunes (@TheGregoryE) February 27, 2018
The social media embargo for A WRINKLE IN TIME is up. It’s not good.— Sean Mulvihill (@MessEnScene) February 27, 2018
And Christian D. Green is harsher than others:
The problem with people today is that we can’t just be REAL about certain topics because it seems like we are “negative” or a “hater” but I believe in telling the truth. With that being said, #WrinkleInTime will not top #BlackPanther in sales. It was a total flop! 😫😢🧐🤷🏽♂️— Christian D. Green (@chrisdgreen423) February 27, 2018
While the consensus isn't negative, concerns for the movie's quality are understandable. Many have raised opinions about whether A Wrinkle In Time should carry any political statement that could overload its source material's coming-of-age themes.
The lack of official reviews, even nearly one day after the review embargo was lifted, speaks for itself. DuVernay has been hailed as a rising, visionary director with good intentions for progress, so a barrage of mixed reviews at this time might hurt her trajectory. For now, we should wait till March 9 to see how the movie turns out.
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