The Violent Blue blog***Comics, Horror and Pop Culture***Updates Tuesday through Friday (and occasionally at random)

Annie 2014

remakesannieWell, it bombed as expected, but did it HAVE  to bomb? We can point out that the general public wasn’t thrilled about the race change, but I think things go far deeper than that.

Annie just doesn’t work for me unless it’s a period piece. In the 40’s a millionaire adopting an orphan for a week is idiosyncratic. In 2014 it’s creepy. In the 40’s a horrible orphanage is a result of the war. In 2014 it’s an indictment of Social Services. The magic of going to the movies is lost, it’s too common now, but in the 40’s movies were new and there was no TV. It was truly something special. Today, we can watch TV on our phones -somethign I  noticed the ophans had….

I don’t mind portraying Annie as more hyper, a cute ADHD case. Bushier hair works – it takes the character and stretches the caricature. But..it’s not red. Red is such an important theme in this play/flim, from the wardrobe to the logo itself. Red does not work with this actresses complexion.

The source material is a Newspaper comic strip. I WANT my broad generalizations! I want Punjab and the Asp! I also want the negative stereotype of the white male included! Mr. Warbucks works much better than “Stacks”.

At the end of the day, I have to ask; will people be talking about this film in ten years? Will it be as iconic as the ’82 version with Aileen Quinn (also not a redhead, but they had the sense to stick a wig on her), Albert Finney, Carol Burnett and Tim Curry?

Could this  have been done better? Certainly. Indeed, I prefer the small screen adaptions  to this, and think that certain aspects could have worked. In 2014 you could ramp up the fish out of water aspect, the misfit feelings and the hyperactive cutie angle, but without it being a little redheaded girl in the 40’s the context just doesn’t click. Those aspects are essential,  and  untill Hollywood understandsthat race-swapping tends to water down rather than uplift we’ll keep seeing these kind of missteps, and more’s the pity

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