Updating the title character from the Great Depression to the Great Recession, director Will Gluck’s thoroughly modern Annie is a candied corporate fantasia that could only take place in Taylor Swift’s New York. Although the film might have been a fun holiday diversion, its admirably revisionist spirit is undermined by the same proto-Randian contempt for the poor that first defined the story of America’s most optimistic orphan when she was introduced in a 1924 comic strip.
Annie (Quvenzhané Wallis) is now a plucky Manhattan foster child who, after a chance encounter, becomes the live-in ward of an antisocial billionaire (Jamie Foxx, terrific as mayoral candidate Will Stacks). At first, Stacks is literally allergic to poor people—he’s “germophobic”—but after singing a few songs with Annie, he learns that the 99 percent might be human after all. At the very least, they can be domesticated.
FULL REVIEW ON TIME OUT NY: www.timeout.com/us/film/annie-2014