Annie is a 2014 American musical comedy-drama film directed by Will Gluck and produced by Village Roadshow Pictures and Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment for Sony Pictures' Columbia Pictures. The film stars Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, and Cameron Diaz. It is the third film adaptation of Annie following the 1982 theatrical film and Disney's 1999 television film.
Ever since her parents left her as a baby, little Annie has led a hard-knock life with her calculating foster mother, Miss Hannigan. However, all that changes when hard-nosed billionaire and mayoral candidate Will Stacks takes her in on the recommendation of his advisers. Stacks believes that he is Annie's guardian angel, but the plucky youngster's confidence and sunny outlook may mean that Annie will save Will instead.
Why It Sucks
- It disrespects the source material. The original Annie was about a genuine social problem (brutal treatment of orphans during the Depression and the hard-heartedness of the rich); however, the new one is a manufactured story which doesn't really seem to address anything.
- The plot is badly watered down to appeal to the lowest common denominator.
- The film cannot decide whether if it wants to be different from or the same as the original.
- The film begins with an offensive scene where a girl resembling the classic redhead Annie performs a chirpy presentation, only to be met with complete indifference from her school class, while this movie's version of Annie's presentation gets high praise. Challenging lovers of the original to find a reason to hate your remake is hardly a good plan.
- The movie seems to be ashamed with the fact that it's a musical, since there's a ton of 'meta' jokes regarding the songs.
- The remake seems to miss the point of the original was that you can be happy no matter what you have. The replacement moral is "being rich is really cool!", which is a very false moral.
- Unexplained plot hole: For some reason, the creators decided that it would be appropriate for this incarnation of Annie, who has lived in a foster family, to be unable to read. This revelation creates a ton of plot holes, since forty minutes prior, she is shown reading a letter out loud.
- Very bad acting, especially from Cameron Diaz as Mrs. Hannigan, who constantly overreacts and has terrible line delivery.
- What happened to Annie's parents is never explained. In the original musical, it is implied that her parents died in a fire and Hannigan had the other half of Annie's orphan trinket, however, that's not present at all in this film.
- The sole purpose of the movie is to serve as a star vehicle for Will Smith's daughter Willow, but apparently even she couldn't be persuaded to star in it. (It is rumored she was deemed "too old" to star in the movie.)
- The orphan girls are unlikable.
- The climax paints telecommunication companies tracking the users' every move as a good thing.
- The film had been in development for 3 years, so it's not all that surprising that it turned out the way it did.
- The musical numbers are badly sung and choreographed with mostly whimsical orchestrations, and some songs use a lot of autotune. Even the new songs, such as The City's Yours and Opportunity sound like manufactured pop songs.
- The plot is still pretty decent and has some faithfulness to the original.
- The Twilight parody movie-within-a-movie, MoonQuake Lake, is pretty good (in fact, the scenes were actually directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller who also wrote and directed GMW ).
- The new rendition of It's the Hard Knock Life is pretty good.
- There were at least some heartwarming moments in the remake.
On RWW, the film has an approval rating of 28% based on 155 reviews and an average rating of 4.48/10. The critic consensus reads: "The new-look Annie hints at a progressive take on a well-worn story, but smoothers its likeable cast under cliches, cloying cuteness, and a distasteful materialism." On RWW, the film has a score of 33 out of 100 based on 38 critics indicating "generally unfavorable reviews." Audiences polled by Cinemascore gave the film an average score of "A-" on an A+ to F scale.
Awards and nominations
Annie was nominated for one Golden Raspberry Award for Cameron Diaz as Worst Supporting Actress. It only won the Award for Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel. It was also nominated for two Golden Globe Awards including Opportunity as Best Original Song.
- This was surprisingly the final film role for Cameron Diaz before she retired from acting in 2016, 2 years after the film's release.