Picoreview: Annie: Not as good as I hoped it would be; possibly not even quite as good as I thought it would be from the lukewarm reviews.
I wanted this film to knock it out of the park. Instead it hit maybe a double, and that’s pretty nearly literally as far as I can take a baseball analogy so I’ll stop now. O.O :)
It was reasonably cute, with a too-long running time. There were some amusing antics and a handful of lines that made me laugh aloud. It’s not a movie that would keep Young Indiana’s attention for the whole film, which is too bad, but I’d say probably the 6-10 age group would be up for it.
Jamie Foxx is the only person in the cast who can really *sing*, and by the time he was six measures into his first song I had readjusted my hope for a modern Guys & Dolls and thrown Hugh Jackman out in favour of Foxx as Sky Masterson (although in either case they need to film it immediately, because they’re both on the edge of aging out of the role).
Back on the topic of Annie, Quvenzhane Wallis wasn’t bad as a singer, and had miles of charm to make up for the minor vocal lack. Her “Tomorrow” was actually a lot more poignant than I remember the 1980s version of the song being. Overall she makes the film worth watching: she’s pretty terrific, even if the overall movie falls flat.
Cameron Diaz was flat-out awful, both vocally and in performance. Not like “oh her character is an awful person and I hate her,” but like “she was really badly cast in this role and totally failed to succeed with it.”
There were a few stand-out characters in the supporting cast, though: the limo driver, the local shop owner, and the oldest of the girls in Annie’s foster home were all especially good. Particularly the oldest girl, who had very few lines and was mostly supposed to be sullen, so the fact that she made a favorable impression is really admirable.
Anyway, it wasn’t anything like as stellar as I hoped, but I enjoyed it well enough, and it’s probably excellent fare for those with kids just a little older than mine.