Annie: A New Take On An Old Classic

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Determined to watch “Annie” on its opening day, I was definitely not going to let the bad reviews bring me down. And, let me tell you, the sun indeed comes up tomorrow.

I wasn’t disappointed. The movie was filled with drama, music, and (as cliché as it sounds) love. What were y’all expecting? Action? Mystery? Well, you chose the wrong movie to watch.

Abandoned at the young age of four at a New York precinct, she is put into the care of Ms. Colleen Hannigan. Hannigan, played by Cameron Diaz, was a former singer turned foster mother. Will Stacks, played by Jamie Foxx, is a workaholic with an arsenal of hand sanitizer bottles in his car. Grace Farrell, played by the stunning Rose Byrne, is his faithful personal assistant.

When Will saved Annie from a near-death situation, everything seemed to be looking up for the girl who had been living the hard knock life. That is, until Will’s political advisor, played by Bobby Cannavale, decided to cook up the cruelest scheme by reuniting Annie with fake parents with hopes of a big cash bonus. With an intense helicopter chase and an impressive punch, thrown by the wonderful Grace, Annie is saved from the imposters, reunited with Will and Grace, and all’s well that ends well.

I found myself singing (and grinning like an idiot) in my seat throughout the movie. I grew up watching Annie, so most of the original musical numbers were burned into the back of my head. Even as I’m writing, I find myself humming “Tomorrow”. Many original songs didn’t appear in this remake, but I thoroughly enjoyed the new songs. I have to admit that the singing wasn’t spot on, but that definitely wasn’t something that bothered me. All the actors were phenomenal, and I loved the shots of NYC. Did y’all see the apartment that Stacks lived in?! One can only wish that they lived in a luxurious, high-tech apartment like him, with such a breathtaking view of New York City.

What I found disappointing/upsetting were the comments and tweets from people who claimed that Annie “should be a ginger”. Back in the olden days, Annie was a caucasian redhead whom everyone fell in love with. Today, she is an exuberant child, played by the brilliant (and adorable) Quvenzhané Wallis. And I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve fallen in love with her. Annie doesn’t have to be played by a caucasian child. There’s a reason why this is called a remake (and a pretty awesome one, I might add). I applaud the brilliant Will Gluck for casting a child of colour to play Annie.

Another negative comment that many critics voiced was that they disliked the pop-versions of the old songs. In my opinion, the revised and modernized versions were very likeable.

Anyone else wish that we could see what happens between Grace (Byrne) and Will (Foxx)? Yes, I am aware that Grace wants to punch Sack’s in the face, but I spent the whole movie shipping them. I was hoping to see them at least get married by the end of the movie. The kiss at the end of the helicopter chase did settle my little shipper heart a bit, but it wasn’t enough. Anyone hoping for a sequel?

Some Annie thoughts:
-The children in Hannigan’s care have an impressive range of cleaning skills, showcasing that as they clean their apartment to prepare for the arrival of a social worker.
-As convincing as Grace sounds, I don’t think she has many friends.
-You have to admit that you laughed at Mrs. Kovacevic, the woman at the social services desk who also took a musical tour of Stacks’ apartment.

The sun’ll come up tomorrow. Betcha bottom dollar that tomorrow, there’ll be sun.

Here’s a clip from Annie:

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