Annie

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(2014) ★½

Sky Movies Premiere: PREMIERE Friday 28 August, 4.15pm and 8pm

Quvenzhané Wallis is happy Annie, the bubbliest kid at Miss Hannigan’s Harlem foster home. She’s not an orphan, she’s at pains to point out. Her parents promised they’d be back for her. In the meantime, the advisers of a New York mayoral candidate – mobile phone mogul Jamie Foxx – think Annie’d be just dandy as a vote-catching foster kid for Foxx. Angling to be mayor simply because he’s got the bucks to back it up, he’s not really suitable material for parenthood or politicking. It’s the first of several calamitous missteps in the new, unimproved, modernised Annie. Beginning mischievously with an Aileen Quinn lookalike posturing in front of the class, this Annie regards the Depression and the New Deal as no big deal: “Pretty much like today except without the internet.” The heart sinks as the snazzed up rearrangements of Tomorrow and Hard Knock Life kick in. With lyrics by director Will Gluck, the new songs fare even worse. Opportunity is like a talent TV show audition, the other new one’s plain maudlin. Easy Street is a total bust too. Even the dog looks wrong. Not his fault, I realise, but the kindly Domani bistro guy is a dead spit for Sepp Blatter which detracts somewhat from any intended warm-and-fuzzy avuncular effect. Will Smith and his missus produced this, but even he’d struggle to make the mogul William Stacks charming. It’s certainly beyond Jamie Foxx. And Cameron Diaz as Miss Hannigan? So sour at the outset, so sweet at the end – her character makes no sense. And she’s no Carol Burnett when it comes to comedy. But we already knew that. The film that made Quvenzhané Wallis’ rarely heard-out-loud name, Beasts of the Southern Wild, is on Channel 4, Friday at 12.40am. She’s Hushpuppy, defiantly weathering the storm in a Louisiana backwater bayou bordered by a sprawling levee. A craftily arty post-Katrina fantasy, Benh Zeitlin’s visually striking film festival debut can be seen as apocalyptic poverty-porn or poetry in motion. For all its ‘magic realism’, it’s rather more in touch with the recession than Annie. And Aileen Quinn’s infinitely more endearing 1982 Annie, improbably directed by the legendary John Huston, is on Sky Movie Drama tomorrow (Saturday29 August) at 1.45pm.

Certificate: PG

Duration: 119min

IMDB – Annie

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Other Showings Time & Date
Sky Movies Drama/Romance Saturday, 29 August at 1:45PM
Sky Movies Premiere Saturday, 29 August at 4:15PM
Sky Movies Premiere Saturday, 29 August at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Sunday, 30 August at 4:15PM
Sky Movies Premiere Sunday, 30 August at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Monday, 31 August at 4:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Monday, 31 August at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Drama/Romance Tuesday, 1 September at 2:25PM
Sky Movies Premiere Tuesday, 1 September at 4:15PM
Sky Movies Premiere Tuesday, 1 September at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Wednesday, 2 September at 4:15PM
Sky Movies Premiere Wednesday, 2 September at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Thursday, 3 September at 4:15PM
Sky Movies Premiere Thursday, 3 September at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Greats Saturday, 5 September at 1:50PM
Sky Movies Greats Sunday, 6 September at 3:40AM