Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A Wrinkle in Time Adoption Movie Review (Spoilers)

Shortly after doctors Alex and Kate Murry adopt the precocious, brilliant young Charles Wallace, Alex disappears. Several years later, Charles Wallace, his older sister Meg, and Kate miss and remember Alex, but do not know why or where he has gone. And then, a mysterious stranger appears, leading Meg, Charles Wallace, and a third friend on a journey across the universe to find their missing father.


The Adoption Connection

Alex and Kate have adopted Charles Wallace. Before Charles Wallace arrives, they speak beautifully about adoption to Meg, saying that, out of all of the people in the universe, how wonderful it is that they have found each other.
Alex disappears. Charles Wallace only learns of him from what Kate and Meg teach him, but he still defends Alex’s name, scolds teachers who speak unkindly of his family, and – to bring joy to Meg and Kate – tries his best to find Alex.

When Meg and Charles Wallace eventually find their father, Charles Wallace comes under the influence of an evil entity. He becomes a threat to Meg and Alex in a series of scenes with some frightening visual imagery. Alex tries to escape, and intends to leave Charles Wallace behind, intending to come back from him later, once Meg is safe. Meg refuses to leave Charles Wallace behind, however. Eventually, Charles Wallace is freed from the entity, and the family returns to their home, greeting a surprised and overjoyed Kate with her long-missing husband.

Strong Points

Kate and Alex speak very positively about adoption.

Charles Wallace loves his adoptive father, even though his adoptive father disappeared while Charles Wallace was very young. Charles Wallace identifies strongly with his family and stands up for them. Later, Meg stands up for Charles Wallace – even going against her father when he appears to be willing to leave Charles Wallace behind.

The film shows that everyone – even bullies – deal with sadness. One character, quoting an ancient poet, says, “The wound is where the light enters you.”


It could be hard for some kids to enjoy a story where a parent is lost without reason. Also, some of Meg’s classmates speak harshly to her suggesting that it would be good if Meg was gone too. One character voices that Meg’s dad “would rather be anywhere than with you.”  

Some families might find it frustrating that it’s the adopted child who gets possessed by an evil entity. It could also be very hard for some kids to see that, after a long absence, Charles Wallace’s father is willing to leave him behind.

A principal tells Meg, “You need to stop using your dad’s disappearance as an excuse for your (mis)behavior.” That might be fair advice, but then he also tells her that she should probably expect that he won’t come back. She reacts against that and prepares to leave his office; he doesn’t recognize that he’s stepped over a line, and only tells her that he hasn’t excused her.  

A young boy’s father criticizes him harshly and unfairly.


A Wrinkle in Time is a visually beautiful film with some good sibling-loyalty dynamics among adopted siblings, but themes of parental separation – and even perhaps parental abandonment – plus a scene in which an adopted child is possessed by an evil entity – may unpleasantly surprise some adoptive families. I’m most comfortable recommending this film to ages 13 and up.

Questions for Discussion

If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?

Was Alex wrong to be willing to leave Charles Wallace? Why did Meg insist on not leaving him behind?

Why were the kids mean to Meg?

Meg has a very good friend in Calvin, and a loving family. Who are some of your best friends?

Other Ideas

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