The newly released DVD of Annie, takes an old classic movie and brings it bang up to date for a whole new audience. Introducing a savvy and streetwise foster kid in the main role, this 2014 remake shakes up the story while still keeping the iconic songs and the heart and soul of the original movie.
Starring Cameron Diaz as the mean Miss Hannigan and Jamie Foxx as tycoon and mayoral candidate Will Stacks, the film boasts a great cast, but young Quvenzhané Wallis is the star of the show.
Annie is a kid growing up in the foster care system under the guardianship of disillusioned and cold hearted Miss Hannigan, when she inadvertently becomes the focus of hard-nosed Stacks' mayoral campaign. Following a near miss accident, where a video of him saving Annie's life goes viral, he is advised to foster her, in a thinly veiled PR stunt to advance his popularity. Although Annie is obsessed with finding her birth parents, she happily embraces her opportunity and soon gets under the skin of Stack and becomes more than just a way to advance his election campaign. A genuine affection soon forms between the pair, as she breathes life into his stuffy world. However, there are some people who want to exploit the situation for their own agenda, threatening to destroy the relationship between Annie and Stack.
This is a fresh and upbeat remake, with the original songs reworked and choreographed for a new, modern audience. It is a story of hope, love and redemption with a few funny moments thrown in. I liked the nods to the impact of social media in the mayoral campaign, which made the film feel very current.
So, the script is a bit corny and the acting is in parts a bit hammy, but it's a family film made to entertain the masses and it does its job well. It doesn't try to explore the realism of what it means to be in the care system, and the cruelty dealt out to the foster children by Miss Hannigan is played for laughs and not taken as a serious threat.
My daughter Kezia really enjoyed it and found the happy ending truly heartwarming.
Annie is out now on DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.