The remake of Annie was not as impressive as I first thought after seeing the trailer. The film didn’t have the same vibe nor the charms as the original version from 1982 had. It’s not a complete disappointment and I think that for those who never saw the original one will be quite content. But because I had seen the original film a few times, I knew exactly what would happen. To write a proper review I did watch the whole film, but reluctantly.
In the 2014 version of Annie, Annie is not an adorable red-head but an adorable black girl played by Quvenzhané Wallis. She’s positive, witty and also determined to find her true parents. In the meantime foster kid Annie and four other kids lives with Mrs. Hannigan (Cameron Diaz). Compared with Mrs. Hannigan from the 1982 version, Diaz plays a more caricature version of the drunk foster mom who waits for her breakthrough in showbiz land. However, she’s quite funny at some points and it’s good to see that, in the end, she actually cares for all her foster children. Which brings me to the point that Annie and her ‘sister’ doesn’t actually have it so bad. They do sing the “It’s a hard nock life” song, but they have nice beds in a nice room and go to school. It’s a bit messy, sure, but I’ve got the feeling that the children in the original version had it much worse. That’s also because Diaz’s version of Mrs. Hannigan is not as mean as Carol Burnett’s take on her.
This also reflects on the reaction of Annie when business tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) takes her in for political reasons. Annie is in awe by the technology at his place and I’m not talking about a nice television. No, she’s very much impressed by voice Features and other high technological gadgets instead of a warm bath and a soft bed. I get it that the story had to be modernized, but this is too materialistic. What I did like was the helicopter flight above the wealthy part of New York! That really looked incredible.
Besides a more modern version of the story, the music was also changed and I hate to say it but not for the better. It was too pop, I just really didn’t like the change. The elaboration of the song “Tomorrow” had also my eyebrows raised. Annie start singing it after she got told there’s absolutely no information about her true parents. It starts really beautiful but it ends too happy, cheerful and positive that it doesn’t make any sense since she just got really bad information.
What I did like was the intro scene where they made a reference to the original red-head Annie. The dynamic between Foxx’s character Will Stacks and Annie was really nice to see. In fact Jamie Foxx was the best actor in this film! I also thought that the story line of Bobby Cannavale was interesting. Cannavale plays Will Stacks right hand Guy and his determined to make Stacks mayor of New York. To do so he comes with a plan to ‘find’ Annie’s true parents, which involves Mrs. Hannigan and some auditions. An other employee of Stacks is, just like the original version, Grace (Rose Byrne). But to me she didn’t really play a memorable part.
What do you all think of this reboot? And which film did you like better?? Let me know in the comments 🙂