We’ve been steadily anticipating director Ava Duvernay’s next work, after her documentary 13th and unfairly snubbed historical realist masterpiece Selma angered viewers everywhere with their incendiary power.
She’s made a sort of lateral move into the world of high science-fiction and fantasy, and has partnered with Disney in order to make an adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s children’s classic A Wrinkle in Time, and it’s been exciting watching the news about the production trickle out over the last few months. Finally, Duvernay and company dropped the first trailer at D23 (Disney’s convention centered around their properties, held at Disneyland) this weekend, and boy, is it something.
It looks pretty magical — the design work looks absolutely incredible, and Duvernay knew what she was doing casting Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling as the three witches here to guide Meg Murry (12 Years A Slave’s Storm Reid) on a journey across time and space to rescue her father (a bearded and dad-hot Chris Pine).
Oprah especially is fantastically used here for a certain segment of young adults who came of age with her as a TV host and this book, and would be taking their own young children to see this film, she represents a prime example of mature adulthood — a constant reassuring presence throughout our own lives.
We’ve got a few nitpicks: God help whoever thought it was a good idea to butcher “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)” in that slow tempo fashion that dominates the modern trailer landscape, and we kind of wish the suburban hellscape that Murry and her friends visits was grey like L’Engle describes in the book (or at least how we remember it being described). But we realize that those are minor concerns that ultimately come down to our own tastes. It looks that Duvernay has crafted the wonderful and inclusive fantasy that we’ve needed all these years.