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The film adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved novel follows the daughter of a well-to-do family in 1948 Manhattan. Fifteen-year-old Camilla Dickinson leads a sheltered life in New York City until her parents’ marriage begins to fall apart. When Camilla meets her best friend’s rebellious brother, Frank, she finds a way to escape her troubles. As her relationship with Frank deepens, Camilla discovers a world outside of her own and begins to understand a little of what it means to grow up.
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I am personally so pleased that the reference to Camilla's theory on how we slowly spiritually evolve, by being reincarnated on different planets, remained- a fantastic Pierre Teilhard de Chardin moment. Again, it's refreshing to see this kind of material being spoken about, in a way only writers like Madeleine L'Engle,Anne Rice, or Karen Armstrong have been willing to deal with in a meaningful way. I resonate deeply with Madeleine L'Engle's agnostic spirit within her literature, in a world of sterile/dry/unimaginative certainty.
It's sad this film never got a wider release, it was actually not that bad. It involved a script that was very faithful to the more hidden idiosyncratic elements of the original novel. As a Madeleine L'Engle fan left so devastatingly disappointed by trite adaptations of"A Wrinkle in Time," and "A Ring of Endless Light." This film preserved all the deep questions of life, death, and the meaning of our existence in the midst of flux/chaos. The original book really helped me in a very rough patch in my life, so I am happy that a film that does it justice, even with some instances of low-budget production costs (the filmmakers really did their best, though) still can exist.
There were parts of this film that were really beautiful and true to the novel, and I loved the nod to Madeleine L'Engle's long time friend, Canon Tallis at the end. Sometimes they stuck so close to the dialogue I could almost recite the lines along with the actors, which I appreciate. Good writing is good writing after all. Camilla's parents were also well done and true to their characters as written, and Luisa is also a good fit.
I'm glad they attempted to incorporate the spiritual elements of the book into this film in this day and age where the film industry typically just won't touch topics like that, but it often felt as though someone just kind of tried to jam the deeper conversations in where ever they could because it's "supposed" to be there. I didn't sense enough of a connection or chemistry between the actors playing Camilla and Frank to feel like their talks about God and life and the universe were genuine or authentic.
I also felt like the actor playing Frank was a bit of a miss...He was too mushy -- not moody enough. Just kind of chipper, when he should have been a little more angst-filled.
The worst of all for me was the fact that the movie completely cuts David Gauss out of the story, and that's pretty unforgivable for me. He was critical to Camilla and Frank's relationship, and to the spiritual and emotional growth Camilla undergoes.
Nice try I guess, and it's at least better than that horrific job that mouse company did to A Ring of Endless Light. But lots of room for improvement though.
Seriously, read the book. It's so much better.
Included are generous special features.
What a treasure!