'Annie' eerily ignores the current rich/poor divide

( PG ) ( Monitor Movie Guide )

'Annie' star Quvenzhané Wallis is radiantly charming in the title role of a foster child who charms a billionaire, but the movie is indifferently directed and musical numbers don't exactly bring down the house.

Barry Wetcher/Columbia Pictures – Sony/AP
'Annie' stars Quvenzhané Wallis (r.) and Jamie Foxx (l.).

This reboot of the 1977 Charles Strouse-Martin Charnin musical by co-writer and director Will Gluck will best be remembered for providing Quvenzhané Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”) with her first big Hollywood starring role. She’s radiantly charming as Annie and, unlike so many of the Annies we’ve seen over the years, she doesn’t burst her lungs or try to devour the scenery. 

As the billionaire magnate running for mayor of New York, Jamie Foxx, in the Daddy Warbucks role, has a touching rapport with her. Otherwise the movie is indifferently directed and, for better or worse, numbers like “Tomorrow” don’t exactly bring down the house. 

Considering this musical has its roots in Depression-era American, Gluck’s contemporary take on the material is eerily lacking in observations about the rich/poor divide in this country. Some original songs have rejiggered lyrics and new tunes have been added to the original score, none memorable. Grade: C+ (Rated PG for some mild language and rude humor.)

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to 'Annie' eerily ignores the current rich/poor divide
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Movies/2014/1219/Annie-eerily-ignores-the-current-rich-poor-divide
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe