Modern film musicals are having a huge upswing. Don’t call it a comeback…..call it the future!
I grew up loving musicals. In fact, I remember as a kid growing up in Barbados we would sit in front of the television and watch Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musicals for hours on end. After arriving in America in the early 80’s I was introduced to Carmen Jones, my very first film musical featuring an all black cast. I think I had an instant crush on the ever handsome Harry Belafonte and was just in awe of the jaw dropping beauty and talent of both Dorothy Dandridge and Pearl Bailey .Carmen Jones became that “it” musical for me.
Jump to 2014 and I am still loving film musicals. In January after learning that the studios will be rolling out quite a few you can imagine how psyched I was especially when I heard that Will Smith and his wife Jada alongside Jay Z were behind a new modernized version of Annie . My kids especially, were awaiting this release as it starred Quvenzhané Wallis as the first ever black Annie alongside Jamie Foxx in the Daddy Warbucks role. The movie is refreshing, uses NYC ( Harlem mostly) as its backdrop and isn’t too sappy .It is ultimately a movie for KIDS and about kids.
Following Annie’s release on Dec 19 Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp popped up in the fairytale star-packed film musical Into the Woods commanding over $15 mil in box-office receipts on Christmas Day alone. Fast behind Woods in February moviegoers will be feasted to The Last Five Years with Anna Kendrick and close behind is London Luck Stiff with Jason Alexander, then American Idiots, a Cats reboot and Guys and Dolls will rounds it out with the hottie Channing Tatum in the lead. Not bad at all! I am excited for all of these.
I must give props to The MOMS‘ Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein who have consistently showed that they knows how to pick movie winners. When they screened Frozen just before Thanksgiving in 2013 to their mom bloggers and families I remember leaving the screening room thinking this is a winner . We all know how boombastically well that film went on to do . With their Annie screening on Dec 16 I felt the same way. In fact, when they posted that they were screening it RSVPs filled up in minutes with many wait-listed . The MOMS did not disappoint. They partnered with Norwegian Cruise Line for a great event that even included a surprise Q&A and picture taking with the young child actors who play the orphans -(Tessie) Zoe Margaret Colletti, (Mia) Nicolette Pierini, (Isabella) Eden Duncan-Smith and (Pepper)Amanada Troya.
This [one] is more relatable to this generation of kids.It is very modernized. It has social media and such.-actress Eden Duncan-Smith, 15.(Isabella)
My 8-year old daughter Kameko in her fancy red dress reviewed the movie and gave her ratings in Popcorn Stars.
Out of 5 Popcorn Stars – Annie gets 4 popcorn stars says Kameko who saw the movie with six of her classmates. Her only complaint—- she asks why was Foxx called Mr. Stacks. Says Kameko, ” Annie was called Annie and Ms. Hannigan was called Ms. Hannigan so he should have been called Daddy Warbucks.”
Highlights from the movie include “Opportunity” the heart tugging ballad sung by Wallis . Which she says is “really good” .
For a great feel good movie for kids and about kids definitely check out the Annie Movie. Currently playing in a theater near you.