New 'Annie' feels more functional than exceptional

December 19, 2014 6:54 AM

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In the opening scene of director Will Gluck’s “Annie” reboot, an obnoxious red-headed girl gets up in front of a classroom of students and gives an over-the-top oral presentation to groans and eye-rolls. Her name is Annie, and she’s clearly a reference to the traditional character found in the Broadway musical and the 1982 film.

Enter the other Annie in class, the cool version, played by Quvenzhané Wallis, who made her mark with an Oscar nomination for 2012’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” Cool Annie leads the class in a rousing percussion piece, pounding on desks and shouting and putting Redhead Annie to shame.

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