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Jamie Foxx's Annie Is A Gem Of A Keeper Movie And It Also Represents A Thaw In A Hollywood Taboo...

Updated on January 17, 2015

Jamie Foxx's Annie Is A Gem Of A Keeper Movie And It Also Represents A Thaw In A Hollywood Taboo...

I must confess that the movie Annie is not a movie that I would normally go to see - but as a father, and a typical one at that, whose daughter has me eating out of her proverbial hands, I accompanied my young daughter to see Annie and was genuinely, pleasantly surprised. Of course, I had seen various versions of the Annie story, and, perhaps, that is the reason why I was not eager to see the new version, or moreover, because it is a movie associated with children, notwithstanding this new version with its stellar cast, which comprises of Jamie Foxx, Camaron Diaz, Rose Byrne, and the delightful Quvenzhane Wallis, who plays the title role. Any good children's movie musical is to see spontaneous clapping, singing, and gasps at certain junctures of the movie... and so it was during Annie where I watched my precocious daughter - like the movie lead, Quvenzhane Wallis - eating up all that was Annie.

Another mark of an excellent good children's movie musical is having so called macho men like myself involuntarily singing and tapping our feet; and, I must confess that I was doing so. Perhaps, it was Quvenzhane, who plays the young precocious Annie, that had us all enamored by her portrayal of the young orphan... so much so, that there were times, while enjoying this gem of a movie, that I had to remind myself that Quvenzhane is still not a dozen years old, yet holding her own against seasoned actors, some of whom have been nominated and have taken home coveted acting awards. Quvenzhane brings to the Annie role that sense of 'street smart' without the maudlin undertones, even though we know of the back drop of her orphan-hood.

As for an Annie's bad guy, this role is played mostly by Camaron Diaz... who is playing against type because Miss Diaz is not her normal glamorous self - but that disheveled, dysfunctional, nightmare of a mother to Annie and her orphan siblings. The gist is that Miss Diaz role is one of lost and what could have been. We are told that Miss Diaz's character had a chance to be in C&C-Music-Factory. Now, that joke escaped my daughter and the rest of the movie-going Tweeners because they did not get the reference to C&C-Music-Factory and the reasons why the grown-ups were laughing in unison. Such is the balance of the Annie movie whereby there are references for both grownups and the tykes to enjoy.

It is the interaction among the respective characters of Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne, and Quvenzhane. With help from Annie, we see the ice being melt from Foxx's character, who, at first is a Machiavellian businessman, using Annie for political gain... but then morphing into a man who remembers that family is important... manifested in the growing, lingering love for and the love of his life, and the Rose Byrne character. As one of the salient lines in the Annie movie goes: sometimes what one is looking for is right in front of you. Take the Rose Byrne character who is secretly pining for her boss, played by Jamie Foxx, and whose life seems to rival that of Annie, even though, she, apparently, grew up with her parents and with means. I must digress to say that Miss Byrne can play any role and that the last time I personally saw her was in the compelling legal drama, Damages, where she held her own against the great Glenn Close. Miss Byrne proves her thespian skills so again with the empathy she shows for Annie and the secret longing she holds for Jamie Foxx's character.

I must give props to two actors in Annie, Bobby Cannavalle and David Zayas. Mr. Cannavalle, the real life boyfriend of Miss Byrne, whose portrayal as a political guru, working to elect the Jamie Foxx's character, is so Machiavellian that one need not read the great tome by Machiavelli - but simply watch the hilarious, ends-justify-the-means antics of Mr. Cannavalle to get a gander about what it is to be Machiavellian. As for Mr. David Zayas, who I last saw in the Serial Killer series, Dexter, and who in Annie is madly in love with the Camaron Diaz's character. Mr. Zayas is so funny in Annie - see the scene where he employs the young Annie to change the expiration dates on the milk and juices he is selling from his store - I wished that Mr. Zayas role was longer and that the interaction and the chemistry he has with Camaron Diaz's character would have been fleshed out even more....

In my topic chosen for this blog, I said that a Hollywood Taboo in the Annie movie is being thawed. The taboo that went through some thawing was the depiction of an interracial relationships - not with the pretty light-skinned black girls (Halle Berry/Saana Lathan) - in a Hollywood movies. Here in Annie, we see the yearning and pining between Rose Byrne, who is lily white and Jamie Foxx, who is Black... a match that the young Annie peeps. It is true that the kiss between Byrnes and Foxx occurred late in the third act of the Annie movie and that had it been Whites playing the roles, it would have happened much earlier... but alas, I am not privy to what editing was done nor am I going to look a Liberal Hollywood gift horse in the mouth. I do wonder too that had Miss Byrne had the popular notoriety - though she has proven to have the acting chops - would she have consented to kiss a Blackman on the silver-screen? It is ironic that in the recent, ongoing debacle at Sony with the Korean movie and exposed e-mails... that one e-mail bemoans the fact that because the International audience is racist, that it accounted for the recent Denzel Washington's movie, The Equalizer not making more money at the box office - so it is going to be for Annie, both here and abroad.

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    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for your review on Annie. Based on your passionate involvement, I intend to see it.

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