Film Review: Annie

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It’s a hard-knock life for foster kid, Annie. She lives with her mean foster-mum and her mission to find her parents is futile.

But a chance encounter with local businessman and politician changes Annie’s life forever when Will Stacks takes her in. What starts off as a campaign move soon turns into a tale of love and hope, where family may turn up in the most unexpected of places.

Annie must determine whether Stacks’ genuinely feels a connection to her or whether she is just part of his campaign to be elected mayor.

A modern twist on a well-known tale.

Film: Annie

Director: Will Gluck

Date: 2014

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I have a confession to make: I have never seen an adaption of Annie before watching the 2014 film. I can’t compare it with other shows, films, school productions…I’m judging this film on its merits alone. I only had a vague idea of the plot and was quite excited about watching this.

I’ll admit it now: I enjoyed Annie, more than I thought I would. There was more to the plot than I was anticipating, so it was nice to have a curveball thrown my way when I thought I had it all figured out.

I also love films that break the fourth wall by admitting how bizarre it is for everyone to start singing – and look genuinely astonished when it happens. It stops them being such a fairy-tale and always makes me laugh. Instant brownie points for this film!

Annie has a talented cast. Jamie Foxx was a brilliant Will Stacks – he showed the conflict between a personal agenda and following his heart to great effect. Rose Bryne presented a genuine Grace while Cameron Diaz was hilarious as Miss Hannigan.

Quvenzhanė Wallis has extraordinary talent! Her endless energy is perfect for Annie’s optimistic approach to life and it’s hardly surprising she leaves the adults behind when it comes to bounding around! All of the young actresses show promising talent. It will be interesting to see where Wallis’ acting career goes as she gets older!

The singing, as a whole, was strong. Naturally, there were stronger voices and weaker ones, but it never left you cringing while watching. Nothing worse than an actor getting a singing role when they can’t hold a tune!

While it is hard to judge the interpretation without having seen the others, Annie felt authentic to me. The script had clearly been modernised – Stacks running a cell phone company, his high-tech apartment etc – and the bright and bustling scenery brings New York to life perhaps better than a stage performance would. Nothing felt forced or as if it had been put in for the sake of it, which is always irritating.

I thoroughly enjoyed Annie. While I have nothing to compare it to, I’d be happy to watch other adaptations based on what I saw here. It was fun, energetic and full of such optimism and hope that you can’t help but get swept along!

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