A Wrinkle in Time was a must-see film for me. And completely different from Black Panther. It doesn’t mean, however, Ava Duvernay’s $100 million dollar film with a multicultural cast isn’t without problems. It is one of the reasons the film has received mixed reviews unlike Black Panther’s ongoing and wildly enthusiastic critical appraise.
While it is wrong to expect from Duvernay what was achieved by Ryan Coogler’s blockbuster hit just because they are both African-American film directors – and moviegoers have never experienced back-to-back films with black actors as leads – the critiques about Duvernay’s interpretation of Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 classic is not unwarranted.
What is unjustified are the racist critiques about using a young black female actress to depict a universal theme about the messy complications, frustrations, and uncertainty about girlhood. “Teenage Meg Murry and her mother, both white like the rest of their family in the 1962 A Wrinkle in Time novel, are portrayed in this film version by black actresses Storm Reid and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Dad is played by Caucasian Chris Pine,” movie critic James Dawson wrote in The Federalist.