The holiday seasons will kick start with Will Gluck directed musical Annie starring Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhane Wallis in the title role. Based on a 1924 comic strip Little Orphan Annie by Harold Gray, this is the third film adaptation following 1982 film starring Aileen Marie Quinn and Albert Finney and the 1999 direct-to-television movie starring Alicia Morton and Victor Garber.
The movie tells the story of a 10 year old orphan girl Annie (Wallis) who stays in a foster home run by Colleen Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) with few other orphans. Annie visits a restaurant every Friday with the hope of reuniting with her real parents who left a note for her while they abandoned her in front of the restaurant.
Colleen who used to be a performer is now living a miserable life and has turned bitter towards the girls who are in her care and make their life hell. Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx), a cell phone mogul “Stacks Mobile” is running for mayor. He is supported by his adviser Guy (Bobby Cannavale), his assistant Grace (Rose Byrne), and bodyguard Nash (Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje). Will is a germaphobe and not very popular with voters compared to the current favorite Harold Gray (Peter Van Wagner). Will goes to feed the homeless and tries to eat the mashed potatoes to show how much he cares, only for him to spit it out in the face of a homeless man.
Annie is unable to learn anything about her parents since she’s not in the system. She walks home depressed and sees two boys annoying a dog. Annie runs, yelling at them to stop and is about to be hit by a vehicle when Will saves her. A passerby records the event on mobile and soon the video goes viral improving Will’s chances. On the advice of Guy he brings Annie home for a day to have lunch with her while the media covers the event.
Soon Annie does the impossible for Will as more and more people start favoring him and soon he signs papers and adopts her for the time being. So what happens to Will and Annie? Does he exploit her for his ambition to become a Mayor or change as a human being? Would Annie find her parents and lead a normal life? These questions get answered as you watch the movie.
The movie is quite entertaining and you will definitely feel attached to Annie and Will. Wallis displays a heartfelt performance and so does Foxx. The supporting cast also provide ample support. Director Will Gluck does a wonderful job of keeping the soul of the original story intact while he puts his own twist. The songs are again a plus point apart from the other technicalities of the movie.
On the whole, go for the movie with your kids and they will definitely thank you!
My Verdict: ****
Poor – *, Average – **, Good – ***, Very Good – ****, Excellent – *****