Annie (2014) – Why the Bad Rating?
Actors: Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhané Wallis, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, David Zayas, Cameron Diaz, Zoe Margaret Colletti, Nicolette Pierini, Eden Duncan-Smith, Amanda Troya, Dorian Missick, Tracie Thoms, Mike Birbiglia, Stephanie Kurtzuba
Duration: 118 min
You might Like this Movie if you enjoyed:
It Take Two (1995), Matilda (1996)
Long Story Short:
Annie is a foster kid dreaming of finding her true parents. When she crosses paths with the rich and eccentric Will Stacks, who is running for mayor her life changes drastically, because his advisor is suggesting to take her in to better Stack’s public image.
Annie is another remake of the beloved musical which has been brought to life for the third time in the past three decades: the first one was released in 1982 and the Walt Disney version came out in 1999. The twist in this one – I am sure you have noticed – the main characters are black.
Is that a bad thing? Not at all. It might actually be a welcome change to not see black characters in a tragic movie about slavery or drugs, which are usually the ones that get attention.
Does it mock the original movie version of Annie? According to some very hateful tweets it does, but I don’t think it does, if even, I believe it opens a door for all the other kids in the world who can identify themselves with the new Annie. Annie doesn’t have a color; Annie is a kid with hopes and dreams, and even though these dreams don’t seem to come true, she never gives up, and keeps a positive attitude about life. But patience, perseverance, and her kind heart eventually open the door of happiness for her.
Even if we don’t know the story, it is very easy to guess how this movie ends. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it a lot. It made me smile, laugh, and if I wasn’t a robot (most of the time) I even would have cried a little. I actually went to see it twice to show extra support, since I believe the bad reviews it received were absolutely unfair and made people stay away; some may have not given it a chance, because they felt like they disrespect the 1982- version if they go and see this one. Pure stupidity. It is a whole different take, set at present times and targeted to the newer generation.
Cameron Diaz – often mentioned as miscast – did a great job, especially towards the end. I have to admit, the evil foster mother doesn’t fit her very well, but her character had a soft side which made it perfect for her.
Fun Fact: Originally, Sandra Bullock was offered the role, but she turned it down since she dislikes musicals.
Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhané Wallis are terrific and so much fun to watch. Quvenzhané is a superstar, and with only 11 years old I can see her competing with the big names, which is why she is nominated for a Golden Globe. One thing I have to criticize about her acting is that a few times I wished her facial expressions were a little stronger. In those few scenes it seemed like she got her role confused with the one of the girl in Beasts of the Southern Wild – another great movie, but a total different character. The blank faces worked there, but not for Annie.
Another character I enjoyed was Grace, played by Rose Byrne. Byrne played her part well, and is an amazing actress.
The songs are great, and even though the movie is almost two hours long it never gets boring.
Why did it get such a bad rating? I am guessing because everyone refers to it as “the new Annie”, not just Annie. It is normal that the new always gets compared to the old. While the old one was cute, the new one is more hip. And I am sure had they stuck more to the original, people would have wondered why it was even made. I think the skin color of the “new” Annie plays a significant part as well. It’s a shame that color still matters. We are all the same, no matter how we look.
Annie is a sweet, wonderful movie, and a great way to start the new year. It is also the perfect movie for the holidays. The last time I went to the movies on Christmas I watched Django Unchained and Les Miserables, so much for getting into the holiday spirit.
Stop comparing and enjoy this movie for what it is: A wonderful experience.