Its not like I am the biggest Annie fan to begin with. My child had less to do with Annie and Pippie Long Stocking, and more to do with playing baseball and football.
But now, some years later, and 2 daughters later, I find myself watching the older versions of these movies on television. They are tolerable, and the music in the old version of Annie was pretty good. Unfortunately, this version of Annie was the worst "re-master" of any movie or play I have seen.
I will start with the good. Cameron Diaz plays a good drunk. Not sure how much acting there really is to be done there. That is it on the good news.
The bad news: Quvenzhané Wallis (Annie) – Maybe my kids have been spoiled by the Disney Channel, but no amount of auto tune can fix this girls voice. She can't dance, and is basically held together by the other girls portraying orphans. I don't care that she looks cute, has "pretty hair" or matches a demographic stereo type of what we are supposed to think of when we think foster kid. Last I remember she was in 12 Years a Slave. Can't quite remember her role there, but it had to have been better than this. The highlight, well, lets call it the apex of the movie is her solo
and it was the hardest 2 minutes of my life. My 5 year old, walked over to me, and asked if we could leave, unfortunately, for the both of us, my 9 year old still wanted to hold on and see if the movie "got better." Spoiler alert
it did not. Annie in this movie does not know how to read. I recently saw an interview with Wallis on television, and I think it may actually be true. She couldn't read from the queue cards during the interview either. Overall, this untalented little actress, even with all today's technology, can't even portray a homeless girl, who lives with a drunk, and is adopted by a rich business man. Out of the million or so girls that probably tried out for this role, she had to have been the worst. I will say this
she must have dang good connections in order to win, and destroy a role such as Annie.
Jamie Foxx - (who I usually like) portrays a big money business man gunning for mayor. Foxx, previous portrayal of Ray Charles was amazing to me. In Annie however, he apparently would be better off being Ray Charles than Jamie Fox. His voice is auto tuned to high heaven, my two year old has more dance moves than he does, and it is a little hard to portray him as a rich business man taking care of an orphan, when his last great movie had him playing a freed slave who was really good at murdering people.
Cameron Diaz - As stated before, she plays a really good drunk, either from experience, or acting skills, she has that part down. Everything else tanks from there. Her voice is the worst of the cast, only slightly behind Quvenzhané Wallis (Annie) Rose Byrne - She has the dance moves I will give her that but very limited singing skills. Why she is in the movie, I am not sure. If only to break up the terrible dialogue between Foxx and Wallis, I guess it's worth it.
Content: For a movie directed towards kids, there are a ton of alcoholism jokes. Alcoholism is not a joke. I get that there are a percentage of foster parents out there, working solely for the government check, and I understand that the State may not do a good job placing these poor children . But come on, the movie wants me to believe that the State took a ton of ethnically diverse children of multiple ages, and left them with a drunk anglo women, sulking on her "what might have been past?" I don't buy it, neither did my kids.
Music: The music throughout the entire movie seems to be auto tuned to the highest levels technology can provide. The writers tried to "spice it up a bit" by adding some new songs, but each of them was terrible in its own special way. I feel sorry for any and all of the side actors, or even the extra's who had to sit around for hours, while the cast undoubtedly bellowed and belched out their lyrics. If you are going to make a musical, for heaven sakes, find some musically inclined people, and go from there. The Sun never is going to come out, never again, not ever. Frankly, the sun is too embarrassed by the ghetto'd up version this classic song and the destruction of this classic story.