I recently saw the movie Annie 2014 and it brought both laughter and tears. The story is heart-warming and simply witnessing Quvenzhane’ Wallis’ performance was unbelievable. I would truly label her as an old soul. The elders would say that she has been here before.
The music and choreography were refreshing as the girls cleaned and suffered under the hand of the evil foster-mother, Hannigan, played by Cameron Diaz. The girls sang “It’s a Hard Knock Life’ and as they mopped the floor, they used each other as human cartwheels. So cute!
But Annie, the adorable orphan living in modern-day New York City won the hearts of many. This young actress is simply gifted. There is no other way to describe the depth of her feeling which she mostly expresses through her eyes.
She is in search of her birth parents and she goes to a particular restaurant every Friday hoping that they will show up. Annie regularly reads a letter that they have left behind to the other girls in the home and she wears a locket that only has half of a heart.
Annie sees two boys taunting a dog and when she tries to stop them, she is almost hit by a truck. Will Stacks, played by Jamie Foxx, saves her. He is a cell phone mogul who is running for mayor of New York City. It is captured on camera and it goes viral. This shows him in a more caring light. His assistants feel that this could boost his ratings in the polls and strengthen his campaign.
They go and find Annie for more photo opportunities and eventually they decide that she should live with Will Stacks temporarily to change his self-absorbed image. His assistant, Grace, played by Rose Byrne is present as Annie checks out the NYC penthouse. Annie and Grace do a neat dance as they sing, I Think I am Going to Like it Here.
And of course, the unexpected happens. Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) begins to enjoy Annie‘s company because she fills a void in his life. He is so convincing in this role and he looks at her with such love and amazement.
Hannigan (Cameron Diaz), the evil foster-mother and Stark’s assistant, Guy (Bobby Cannavale) plot to pay some people to pretend to be Annie’s birth parents to get her out of the picture. She has become too popular. They do a provocative dance in a bar to Easy Street as they plot their wicked plan.
In this modernized version of Annie, social media plays a part. After Annie is taken by the imposter parents, young girls snap pictures of her as she mimes ‘Help’ from the car window. They send out tweets and the location of the getaway car is pinpointed.
All of the girls in the house are very talented and the movie is truly child-friendly. I would definitely see this movie again. We hear the popular songs that we know such as Easy Street, Tomorrow, and Annie’s singing of Opportunity in the red satin dress is just adorable. But the one that stays with me most is Who Am I? Will Stacks, Hannigan and Annie sing it in unison from different settings as they make decisions about their lives. The song ends with ‘I want to start again.”
There are cameos by Rihanna, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis. I highly recommend this feel-good movie with its diverse cast. The music, the dance moves, the scenes of the Big Apple and the superb acting combine to make it a great experience. Director Will Gluck, along with co-producers Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith did a fine job.
Lynn January 10, 2015