DIRECTOR: Will Gluck CAST: Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale
AWARDS: Golden Globes – Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy (Quvenzhané Wallis) (nominated); Best Original Song, Motion Picture (Sia for “Opportunity”) (nominated)

RATING – 3.2 out of 10

  • Acting – 1 out of 10
    • I really don’t even know where to begin with this horrible abomination of a film. I am utterly appalled that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association saw fit to give Quvenzhané Wallis a Golden Globe nomination. I get that the category is Comedy or Musical, and I get that not a lot of musicals are made anymore, but that does not mean they need to throw nominations out to anyone who’s in a musical. There were plenty of other performances in comedies this year that deserved the nomination far more than she did. I’m fairly certain that the only reason this movie got made in the first place was because producer Jay-Z was so taken with her performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild. Admittedly, she did give a very good performance in that film.
    • I think we can at least thank whatever divine powers there might be that Cameron Diaz didn’t get a nomination for Supporting Actress, because wow! what a travesty. Hers has to be the absolute worst performance I have seen in the history of cinema. I think it was her fellow cast mate Rose Byrne who said that they could not have found a better Miss Hannigan, but that is a bald-faced lie. A chimpanzee in a dress and lipstick could have played a better Miss Hannigan. Every time she came on screen, I wanted to smack myself in the face with a bag of bricks to put myself out of my misery.
  • Writing/Dialogue – 1 out of 10
    • I’m really not familiar with the stage play, but good lord, the dialogue was painful. Even by kids movie standards.
  • Diversity – 6 out of 10
    • The one good decision here was to cast black actors in the two lead roles. But the film fails with its female characters. All they ever do is either talk about boys or, as is the case with the perpetually inebriated Miss Hannigan, seduce men.
  • Visual Effects – 6 out of 10
    • I really liked the house and would love to live there. But the dog looked fake in a lot of scenes. It’s like they used the real dog for some of it and then a terrible CGI dog for the rest of it.
  • Cinematography – 5 out of 10
    • Meh. That’s all I have to say about that.
  • Musical Scoring/Sound Editing – 3 out of 10
    • A movie musical has failed when you can tell that songs have been prerecorded. And good god, this auto-tune soundtrack is just horrendous. To top it all off, every single one of the actors was monotone and dull. The only thing saving this from 1-rating was that I found myself enjoying bits of the music. I hate “It’s a Hard-Knock Life” with a vehement passion, but I actually rather enjoyed this version of it.
  • Continuity – 5 out of 10
    • There was something, I can’t remember what now, that just made me think, “Well, wouldn’t this have invalidated the whole thing?”
  • Plot/Story – 3 out of 10
    • It’s sad when the movie-within-the-movie seems more engaging and fun than the actual movie…
  • Time – 1 out of 10
    • This was 118 minutes longer than it should have been. No, but seriously: I would have rather listened to nails on a chalkboard for 2 hours.
  • Grandiosity vs Humility – 1 out of 10
    • It’s just complete and utter fodder.

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