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.)