I had no idea this book had drawn such ire. Guess I’ve been sheltered. My wife and I are both of the age of those who had the story read to us in our early elementary years and subsequently read it for ourselves too. So we enjoyed seeing the movie. I have a pretty low bar when it comes to how movies will compare with an original writing; --and low (realistic) expectations help out here. The book is what it is (excellent!). And the movie is what it is on its own terms as well; and I thought it was good when allowed to just tell a story of its own too, even if it predictably toys with L’Engle’s original plot (this is Hollywood after all).
I bet I can guess at the calculus being bandied among screen writers crafting their new hopeful baby for the wilds of today’s pop culture. It’s well known that some noisy contingent of culture will find offense on the issue of how Jesus is treated. So I can imagine that if there were grumblings over the use of Jesus’ name in the original work, it was because he was subjected to the ‘indignity’ of being included on a list of many other ‘merely great’ people. Message to movie making folks today: “Just leave Jesus out of things altogether … you’ll draw the ire of vocal right-wingers and/or anti-religious nuts if you try; just not worth it.” And so they dropped him. And lo and behold! Now another (or some of the same?) contingent is mad that Jesus suffers the indignity of being cut from the list.
It was refreshing to see the positive review here, and I chime in with positive tones too, even if tempered with caveats. One last one would be this: if you have little patience for mystical sensibilities and are hyper-sensitive to, and easily offended by any “new-agey” jargon or intonations, then you’ll find this film frustrating and probably just write it off. But if you’re prepared to enjoy a great story with drop-dead special effects, wondrously beautiful scenes, and age-old heroic themes woven through it, I think you’re in for a treat.
One last warning (this time about myself). On the continuum from very “dark” movies toward “light fluff” I tend to enjoy the latter. If it’s going to be dark, there had better be a payoff in profundity. So in that light, I enjoyed ‘Wrinkle in Time’, dealing with its couple of darkish themes, but mostly cool fluff.