“Tomorrow” seemed like an eternity away, not just a day, watching this bastardized version of America’s irresistible, adorable “orphan”; sophomorically-written, plastically-performed “Annie” is the poorest adaptation of a musical to be visited upon the screen, ever. Quvenzhane Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”) is a dynamic, tremendously talented tyke, but she and her overabundance of saccharine “cuteness” cannot save this platitudinous, clique-embellished, manipulative muck.
Nothing works: Jamie Foxx as curmudgeonly billionaire, “Will Stacks” running for mayor of New York City, has as much charisma as the mashed potatoes he regurgitates on a homeless man; Cameron Diaz as “Hannigan” the wicked, foster mother is embarrassing in her strident, floozy, drunken interpretation; Rose Byrne, horribly miscast as the Mayor’s sycophant aid “Grace”, is graceless, depthless, as bland as cardboard in her depiction; seething, gifted Bobby Cannavale as the untoward campaign manager “Guy” was director, Will Gluck’s most egregious error.
With monumental alacrity, escaping before the credits commenced, realizing the only positive attribute was that Harold Gray (1894-1968) creator of “Little Orphan Annie” was spared the inequity of this inadequate, reprehensible travesty, an ugly blot on “Annie’s” pristine, magical, enchanting reputation.
ONE & 1/2 STAR