Wallis, Foxx Headline Modern Take on Classic Annie

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Annie 2014

My favorite version of ANNIE is the 1982 version with Albert Finney and Carol Burnett -- even though every version out there is the same story, with the same songs. All you can basically do is change the actors and alter the dialogue a bit. That's a challenge to any director who wants to make his mark on the long-running franchise about the plucky little orphan girl who goes from rags to riches by warming the heart of a tycoon.

Will Gluck (EASY A) seems to have hit on an alternate way of telling the story without deviating too far from the formula -- and not by simply making shifts in the racial makeup of the characters. Gluck has taken ANNIE completely modern, and has seemingly eliminated the name of Warbucks and replaced him with tycoon/political candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx). When Stacks impulsively rescues a fallen Annie (Quvenzhané Wallis, 12 YEARS A SLAVE) from an oncoming vehicle, the captured security footage goes viral and his poll numbers go up. Thus, bringing Annie into his life on a regular basis gives him a political advantage he's willing to capitalize on. But we can safely bet that, by movie's end, Stacks will become warm and caring, as the hard-knock life girl inevitably works her charm.

Also starring Rose Byrne as Stacks' assistant, Grace, and Cameron Diaz as the miserly orphanage caretaker, Miss Hannigan, this ANNIE has a look and feel unlike any ANNIE before it, and yet retains that familiarity audiences love about the show.

Check out the trailer here, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

4.5 / 5.0