Director Ava DuVernay had a short message for moviegoers before the “A Wrinkle in Time” screening at Regal Atlantic Station.
“Embrace the inner child in you.”
It wasn’t hard to do.
The science fantasy adventure film, based on the award-winning novel written by Madeleine L’Engle, follows Meg Murray and her brother Charles Wallace as they journey to other universes to find their dad who disappeared four years ago.
They follow three mystical beings played by Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which. Meg is played by Atlanta native Storm Reid. Her brother is played by a delightful Deric McCabe.
Related: A visit with actress Storm Reid
No spoiler alerts here, so read on.
In her on-screen appearance, DuVernay called the movie, which opens Friday, “a love letter to young people and people who are young at heart.”
That description fit Sharmah Wardlaw and Tirzahn Otwell perfectly.
Wardlow said she read the book when she was pregnant with her now 16-year-old daughter, Tirzahn. “I’m so excited,” she said. “It’s Oprah, it’s Ava Duvernay. I just like every actor in this story. I want to see how close it is to the book.”
Her daughter hadn’t read the book but that didn’t dim her excitement.
“It looks very interesting. I like fantasy movies and this one has a biracial girl and I’m biracial,” said Tirzahn, who is homeschooled.
Victor and Sadequa Simmons Jr. brought their young sons, Mason, 11, and Gavin, 7.
Both boys had read the book.
“I think it’s good with lots of stuff happening – ups and downs,” said Mason.
Gavin was struck by the concept of dimensional time travel and wanted to see how it would be done on the big screen. “The book had a lot of detail about tesseract,” he said.
The movie follows on the heels of a blockbuster few weeks for “Black Panther.”
That was important point for their dad.
He said he was thrilled to see another DuVernay film and one starring Winfrey. “That’s a lot, considering a few years ago it was Oscars so white,” he said, referring to criticism that there were not enough black actors and directors recognized for major awards.
“One of the main things this shows (his sons) is that they can do anything. They can accomplish anything.”
Former teacher Sheeva Olyaie was a little concerned about some aspects of the movie, though.
“I didn’t read the book,” she said. “I liked the movie but there were some things that may be a little intense for the demographic. It could be a little scary, but it was beautiful imagery.”
Ashley Marshall-Seward and her daughter, Menaal, left the movie as big fans.
“It was mesmerizing and magical,” said Marshall-Seward.