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25 Dec 2014

Surprise Smiles: Disregard the Other Reviews—the New 'Annie' Is Surprisingly Fun

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amie Foxx and Quvenzhané Wallis in Annie. amie Foxx and Quvenzhané Wallis in Annie.

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.

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