When I was a kid, my favourite movie genre was a musical. I couldn’t live without Singing In the Rain, Wizard Of Oz, Hair or Annie. I knew all the songs by heart, even though English is not my mother tongue.
However, one thing I never enjoyed much is a remake, especially a bad one. With that being said, I surprised even myself after deciding to give contemporary Annie a shot. After all, the new movie featured a young Quvenzhané Wallis (who had been nominated for Oscar for her performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild). Okay, I told myself, perhaps it was time I put my prejudice aside, and accepted the fact that remakes give us the opportunity to take a glimpse at some of the ways the world has changed over the decades.
Well, one thing that definitely makes itself more and more apparent in Hollywood is that a grand majority of movies are sloppy, made to be watched just that one time and then forgotten.Okay, Annie isn’t really that bad. But it definitely isn’t memorable. My biggest objection is regarding singing/dancing numbers, which are very poorly executed. After all, these are the scenes that make a musical, and yet, it seems that in this movie, the choreographer was quite lazy.
Except for an occasional jump, there really isn’t much to see.
Now, lest you think the movie was a disaster. Cameron Diaz was great as an evil/drunken foster parent (but we have seen her play a bad girl before); Jamie Foxx has a beautiful singing voice; Rose Byrne is super lovely and, as always, makes me want to start speaking in British accent; and of course, Quvenzhané Wallis is captivating herself.
The movie also struck me on a more personal level as well. Ever since I became a mother last year, I can’t bear to witness children suffering or experiencing any kind of pain. When I watched original Annie as a kid, I saw it from a perspective of a child hoping throughout that Annie would be reunited with her parents. This time, however, all I kept thinking about was how someone could give up their kid. I get that some parents make the decision because they can’t afford to raise the child, but that doesn’t at all comfort me. Just trying to imagine what it must be like to be raised by an institution, instead by a loving parent, breaks my heart.
And one other thing that I simply fail to understand is why do we still have orphans, at all? One would think that childless couples looking to adopt outnumber children without parents, don’t they?!. Now, that constant is what made it possible for there to be a remake of Annie in the first place.