Avon Valley Gazette - - WHAT'S ON -

IT’S about time pre- teen girls got a live- ac­tion, big- screen ad­ven­ture film of their own.

Dis­ney has been scor­ing big lately with an­i­mated films driven by strong, young fe­male char­ac­ters with Frozen, In­side Out and Moana, but now a flesh and blood char­ac­ter has a chance to shine.

Seven years ago, Meg ( Storm Reid) and Charles Wal­lace’s ( Deric McCabe) sci­en­tist fa­ther ( Chris Pine), who spe­cialised in as­tro­physics, went miss­ing and has not been heard from since.

The com­mu­nity thinks he aban­doned his fam­ily, but the chil­dren still have hope that he will re­turn one day.

Out of the blue, the si­b­lings are vis­ited by ce­les­tial be­ings Mrs What­sit ( Reese With­er­spoon), Mrs Which ( Oprah Win­frey) and Mrs Who ( Mindy Kal­ing), who take them on a tesser­act ( space travel) jour­ney to track down their dad.

While search­ing in an­other part of the uni­verse, they must find their dad be­fore the dark­ness, which is spread­ing rapidly, takes over ev­ery­thing.

Mix­ing magic and whimsy with science, A Wrin­kle In Time shows that it wants to have fun but treat its young tar­get au­di­ence like they have a brain.

There are some more ma­ture themes dealt with, such as bul­ly­ing and aban­don­ment, while still hav­ing the abil­ity to be en­ter­tain­ing.

New­comer Reid stands head and shoul­ders above the rest of the cast, even stal­warts With­er­spoon and Win­frey, who seem to take a while to get warmed up in their char­ac­ters. Zach Gal­i­fi­anakis scores the biggest laughs in a glo­ri­fied cameo.

A Wrin­kle In Time is a de­lec­ta­ble visual feast, with colours and ef­fects burst­ing off the screen. It tack­les some big ideas but does not always con­vey them in the smoothest way.

It runs for less than two hours yet feels longer, with some slow stretches that may test the at­ten­tion span of its pre- teen au­di­ence.

But in a world where youth ad­ven­ture movies are dom­i­nated by sto­ries driven by boys ( The Goonies, Stranger Things, It), it is re­fresh­ing to see a young girl get her own.

Oprah Win­frey and Storm Reid.

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