This morning, I went to see Annie. I had hoped to see it with T before she headed back to school, but the holiday period didn’t go according to plan, so I went today before the movie leaves the theater tomorrow.
I was a bit leery about going as I am not often a fan of updating older work. Annie appeared on Broadway in 1977. We had the cast album at home and I knew all the songs. We sang some arrangements from the show at my high school. I can still remember some of the choreography for “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile.” Over the years, I’ve seen some live performances and was annoyed with the 1982 movie version for changing the time frame to July because then you didn’t get to have “A New Deal for Christmas.” I also come from a classical/church music/classic American songbook sort of background and tend to be pretty clueless on the popular music side.
But, I really enjoyed this version of Annie with Quvenzhané Wallis. Wallis is amazingly talented. She doesn’t seem as though she is acting, even when that involves breaking into song and dancing on a regular basis. Her charm and energy really carry the movie.
I thought that the transformation to the present day worked well, with foster kids replacing the original orphanage of the 1930’s NYC. I did miss the song “NYC” although its replacement “The City’s Yours” worked in the context of the film. I was particularly moved by the addition of literacy as a plot point. Dyslexia runs in my family and I was pleased to see literacy embraced as a cause here.