A Wrinkle in Time (2003)

dir. John Kent Harrison

Presumably the 1962 novel by Madeleine L’Engle A Wrinkle in Time has some real merit to it, especially considering it spawned a big budget adaptation in 2018. Before that, there was this 2003 made-for-TV version. But whatever impressive features the novel may have, it’s difficult to imagine considering the poor quality of both these adaptations. Like the 2018 version, 2003’s A Wrinkle in Time suffers from a convoluted plot, cloyingly twee supernatural figures, and utterly unimaginative worlds. The characters are still so simple and boring, it’s hard to work out what the moral of the story is supposed to be. This 2003 version is arguably the worse adaptation, though, bogged down as it is by a terrible score (for a few scenes, the music is simply the same staccato note over and over and over), shoddy acting (the protagonist’s facial expression scarcely changes throughout), and some of the all-time worst CGI ever committed to film (what is this human-equine monstrosity with no torso, and how was something that looks like this released in the same year as The Return of the King?!). While it’s understandable that a limited budget probably impacted some choices, it still doesn’t excuse A Wrinkle of Time’s lack of creativity.

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