Friday, December 19, 2014

Sony probably needs the wholesome musical "Annie", promoting adoption, right now

I hope it was indeed a really patriotic act to buy a regular movie theater ticket (at Regal Ballston) to a Sony-Columbia release tonight, the musical “Annie” (remade from 1982), music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Matinin Charnin, book by Thomas Meehan, based on the comic strip “Little Orphan Annie” by Harold Gray, with this new version directed by Will Gluck.  This is supposed to be one of the films released to pirates by the Sony Hack, so seeing this movie legally may help a little.
Annie is played by Louisiana-born Quvenzhanze Wallis, and Jamie Foxx plays Will Stacks, the rich, single NYC mayoral candidate.  Cameron Diaz plays the sassy foster mom, who clearly needs the $157 per child a month from New York State. Bobby Cannavale plays the unscrupulous election campaign manager.
The big event in the film is Stacks’s taking over foster care of Annie as a single dad, after some prodding, because it looks good to the campaign, catering to “family values”.  He certainly offers "radical hospitality", although it need not cost him. His penthouse is a real showplace that would please Donald Trump.  There are plenty of video murals on the walls, but the real views outside seem to look on the new Freedom Tower in lower Manhattan (which means it would have lost power during Hurricane Sandy).  There is an odd white player-piano, which also plays manually – reminding me of a concert that I attended in a condo (though near Central Park) and written up on the “Drama blog” Dec. 11, 2010.
There’s also a pooch, who looks a bit like a fox.  Annie is very street-smart and helpful to Will. and it's a bit surprising when she mentions her illiteracy.  Annie asks Stacks why he has so much space, and he says he likes to work alone with a lot of space around him, and that in life there will be very few people who actually will love you.  Annie’s question almost seems like one from a moral lens, that so much space and splendor should house more people.

There really is a moral edge in this near-kids' movie.  Should Will be expected to prove he can provide for others before he earns fame through work, or only after?  It's also interesting that in another sense he is seen as an African-American male role model:  a "self-made" man who started a novel telecommunications company.
There is a curious line about Kim Sung-Il in the script.  Sony didn't try to remove it at the last minute because of the hack, thankfully.
I could imagine that sort of pressure being put on me.
The official site is here
I saw this in a relative small auditorium.  I guess Regal doesn’t always “go big” even with big-budget spectacles. 

1 comment:

Dan O. said...

An okay movie, if that's all your expecting. Anything more, you'll be slightly disappointed. Good review Bill.