The Sun Comes Out for Annie

For generations there has been a famous freckle faced, redheaded orphan who has dominated mediums from radio, to movies, to the stage and her name is Annie. Little Orphan Annie been around for nearly 130 years. First, the country’s favorite orphan was a daily newspaper comic strip that began in Aug. 1924. However, the creator of the comic strip, Harold Gray, got the basis of Annie from an 1885 poem called Little Orphant Annie. The comic strip would continue to run until June of 2010, but in the meantime Annie would have been adapted into a radio show, multiple movies, and a Broadway musical. However, in 2011 Jay-Z and Will Smith teamed up to bring the world a new Annie, completely changing the character. Now, three years later and with Will Gluck directing, there is a new young lady belting, “Tomorrow.”

Quvenzhané Wallis in Annie

Quvenzhané Wallis in Annie

The film follows a young orphan girl named Annie (Quvenzhané Wallis), who is chosen to live with millionaire, Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx), so he can possibly win over the crowd for an upcoming Mayoral election.

I’m pleased and quite relieved to say that I enjoyed the new film, Annie. I’m a huge fan of the 1982 picture and it was a movie I watched constantly through my childhood. So, seeing it reborn was actually a bit nerve-racking for me. Yet, I walked out of the theater with a smile. I don’t think it was a great movie, but a harmless and cute movie kids will enjoy. Though, I did really love that this Annie was quite a go-geter and someone with a lot of confidence. It was nice seeing a young girl portrayed that way and it is also great for kids to see her portrayed that way.

One of my biggest worries when I heard this film was being remade was who in the world is going to replace Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan. When I heard it was going to be Cameron Diaz, I was pretty upset as her performances have been quite disappointing as of late. However, similar to the movie, I’m quite shocked to say she did a good job. She was NO Carol Burnett, but then again no one was going to be another Burnett. Diaz was fun, charming, but not over the top. It was a pretty different Miss Hannigan though, she wasn’t as harsh, and not as mean. She also gave me my favorite song of the new film, the revamped version of “Little Girls.” She absolutely nails it. I also loved the fact her back story was that she was kicked out of C+C Music Factory, the band that sang “Sweat (Everybody Dance Now),” before they went big. I nearly died in the theater laughing, but I was the only one.

My biggest issue with the film was that it could have been shorter. About thirty minutes could have been cut and it would have been a much tighter movie. Besides that, the movie was also very good about knowing what it is. It makes multiple jokes and references about the older versions and even makes a few winks to the audience. Gluck was smart to go at this movie this way, the filmmakers had fun with it, and so the audiences will too. For instance, the youngest of the bunch, Mia, asks “Wait! What’s a hard knock life?” in the beginning of the number. It is the little jokes like that really make the movie work.

Annie wasn’t the most amazing film of the year. However, with great music and lovely twist on a classic it will a good film for the whole family to enjoy, “you can bet your bottom dollar.”

-By Jacob Tiranno

In case you missed our video review for this week, check it out below:

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