12/28/14

Annie

Is it time to remake this one again? With a totally different spin, I guess maybe it is. Now we have Will Gluck ("Easy A") directing from a screen- play he adapted with Aline Brosh McKenna ("The Devil Wears Prada"). The updates actually work quite well and I was pleasantly surprised, as I had my defense shields up.

I'll try to hit the adaptation high points so you don't get seasick when you go!

Here is a sample of the changes:
  • Quvenzhan√© Wallis (nominated for an Oscar for "Beasts of the Southern Wild") is our dauntless little heroine. This time she's in a foster home, not an orphanage, and she is pretty street smart!
  • Jamie Foxx (won an Oscar for "Ray") Nope, he isn't Daddy Warbucks, this time his character is Will Stacks, a candidate for Mayor of New York. His campaign manager thinks having a cute little girl as an accessory will improve his numbers at the poll.
  • Cameron Diaz ("The Other Woman") is her drunken foster mom, Miss Hannigan, the money-hungry villain of the piece.
  • Rose Byrne ("This is Where I Leave You") Grace works for Mr. Stacks, so she also ends up helping him with the little girl. He knows NOTHING about children and thinks the whole idea is lame.
  • Bobby Cannavale ("Chef") Guy's only goal is for Mr. Stacks to win the election. Nothing else matters.
This PG-13 outing has no profanity, no gunshots, no vehicular mayhem (or just a tiny bit), no blowie uppie stuff and no sweaty bodies. Of course it's always fun to watch a child encounter phenomenal wealth and all its trappings for the first time (we are every bit as curious as Annie). And we see how she got Sandy and his reaction to some of the characters.

I didn't recognize some of the songs, but I saw "Annie" many years ago, so maybe I've forgotten or maybe they are new. I felt that Diaz was too over-the-top; this can be attributed to either the director or the actor... In addition, I did NOT buy into some of the characters' abrupt changes of heart, but that's probably just me. I liked this more than I expected but was glad I used a closed-caption device.
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See the new Freedom Tower in the New York City skyline:
http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi1781444377
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