A Wrinkle in Time ★★½

At a time when Disney would rather fund suffocatingly faithful (and/or toxically garish) “live-action” remakes of classic films than roll the dice on original stories for a new generation of kids, there’s something refreshing — and downright beautiful — about what Ava DuVernay has done with “A Wrinkle in Time.” Less satisfying than the recent “Pete’s Dragon,” but told with a similar degree of revisionist zeal, this eye-popping adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved 1962 novel scrubs away the Christian overtones of the source material in favor of some distinctly 21st century humanism.

Jesus is out, self-worth is in, and it’s coming for your children via an $103-million orgy of special effects that starts with a giant astral projection of Oprah and only gets more insane from there. At one point, Reese Witherspoon transforms into a giant piece of flying kale. It almost doesn’t matter that the movie is too emotionally prescriptive to have any real power, or too high on imagination to leave any room for wonder; DuVernay evinces such faith in who she is and what she’s doing that “A Wrinkle in Time” remains true to itself even when everything on screen reads false.

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