“Annie” Is A Big, Fat, Toxic Mess

Any parent who takes a child to the new “Annie” is committing child abuse. That’s what I’ve been saying for weeks. (I’ve also been saying that viewing the film is what killed Mike Nichols. He produced the original Broadway version.) Now, the more official reviews are backing me up. In THR, David Rooney writes: ‘Every ounce of charm has been pulverized out of the musical in a strained effort to drag it into the social-media age. What’s even sadder is that the same could be said for the film’s young star, Quvenzhane Wallis, who brought heroic authenticity to her role in “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” creating a lyrical poster child for the marginalized poor. Here, she’s reduced to one-note, processed pluckiness, as if she’s been cloned from those overconfident children of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith; the latter couple optioned the material and are also producers.’

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