Confession time: I have always hated the musical Annie, and I really hated the original movie, directed in 1982 by John Huston. I grew up in New York, and that damn play was shoved down my throat every day when it was playing on Broadway. Therefore, I had no hope for the new film version—especially after the first wave of scathing reviews came out.
I’m going against the grain a bit on the new Annie: No, it’s not a great film, but it’s surprisingly fun and pleasant. It still has that awful music in it, and no amount of auto-tuning and remixing can fix that crap. What makes the movie fun is a goofy turn from Jamie Foxx as the billionaire who takes in orphan Annie (Quvenzhané Wallis). The two have a good rapport, and their fun chemistry cancels out grating work from Cameron Diaz as Hannigan (played by Carol Burnett in the original) and Rose Byrne’s terrible singing.
I laughed at this movie a lot more than I thought I would, and Wallis qualifies as my all-time-favorite Annie. It’s a good family film.
Annie is playing at theaters across the valley.