The film may not come out until March 9, but A Wrinkle in Time released new posters, and they're more than enough to hold you over for the next few weeks. The three images were released Wednesday, one for each of the film's leads: Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling, and Reese Witherspoon, who play Mrs. Which, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Whatsit, respectively. And these posters are doing a lot — in the best way possible.
In addition to celebrating the fact that this film is anchored entirely by women, highlighting their diversity, and being stunning to look at, these posters make promises, too. They promise the viewer that it will be the strength and individuality of its leads that's emphasized, but never their sexuality. The bold makeup choices are beautiful, but they merely serve to enhance what each woman already has going on, never diminish it, which bodes extremely well for the film.
Each woman is pictured in a similar pose: a tight close-up with glowing skin, gently closed eyes, and a contented, half-smiling expression upon her mouth. But these are far from cookie-cutter female characters all serving the same purpose in the film, and their hair and makeup choices make that very clear in through images. (The story plays with quantum physics and extra dimensions, after all, so don't expect any one-dimensional women.)
Oprah is, well, Oprah, so it's hard to know where to begin. Mrs. Which is outfitted with a swooping, Winehouse-esque cat-eye underneath bejeweled eyebrows. In the center of her forehead, gleams a shining, cross-shaped decoration, and her lips are painted in a glittering champagne that sets off the platinum curl sneaking into the right side of the image.
Kaling is bathed in warm, purple light with plum-colored lipstick and eyeshadow, and brows for days, with a streak of teal on her forehead. She also has more of a smile on her face than the other ladies, which suggests a more mischievous character.
And finally, Witherspoon is all deep greens and shimmering red-golds with such a relaxed expression on her face that she could be asleep. But don't let her fool you — all three of these characters are complex, layered portraits of the kinds of women that audiences don't often get to see on their screen.
It isn't particularly rare to have a peculiar being in a fantasy story who guides the protagonist through his or her adventures, but it's rarely a woman. Most of the time, it'll be a male character like Gandalf or Dumbledore or Yoda. That's why having three peculiar beings who are female, down to their very names, guiding a female protagonist through her journey is something really special. And it's wonderful to see that uniqueness come through in the costumes and the hair and makeup choices as well.
These posters are the perfect example of how to highlight female strength and beauty without reverting to sexualization. There is no trace of the male gaze here, just unique, powerful women in coexistence, but not competition. And that idea of collaborative female energy flourishes behind the camera as well as in front of it. The screenplay for A Wrinkle in Time was written by Jennifer Lee, who based it off the novel by Madeleine L'Engle. It has a female producer, Catherine Hand, and the film is directed by Ava DuVernay, who became the first black female director to helm a movie with a budget over $100 million.
So at the end of the day, these aren't just posters. These are promises that each of of these women will have distinct, magical personalities that they'll bring to the roles that audiences will be lucky enough to see them inhabit. And behind the scenes, other unique, magical women have been working hard to give them those opportunities, and to make this important project a reality.