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Byron Shire
April 13, 2021

Annie

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After her spellbinding performance in the uniquely beautiful Beasts Of The Southern Wild (2012), it was hard for many of us to imagine where Quvenzhané Wallis might turn up next.

She seemed so un-Hollywood.

I certainly would never have envisaged her starring as the eponymous little heroine in a story that, at its core, reflects so timelessly and tediously the American showbiz dream.

I had the dubious pleasure of seeing a well-intended performance of the stage musical on which this movie is based at the Gold Coast Arts Centre a few years back.

Even then it seemed dated and, though director Will Gluck’s adaptation has been brought forward to the hip by-ways of New York, 2014, it still feels like a relic from a time when people would believe anything.

Not that Annie (Wallis) is the poor little kitten who has lost her mittens – rather, in an attempt to keep up with the times, she is a not entirely likeable wisecracking street kid.

Notwithstanding the cloying corniness that can never be extracted from any story about an orphan who makes good (Dickens and Chaplin knew how to handle the subject matter with pathos and wit, but they’d be laughed out of town these days), it is the format that flops.

Ever since the unbelievable success of Chicago (2002) – an absolute stinker for the ages – the musical has rallied, but its implausible theatricality appears juvenile and jokey when compared to the hyper-realism with which CGI has now flooded the screens.

A big-name cast will probably help this break even at the box office, but it’s hard to fathom what audience it might find in Australia. Even allowing for the boom in ‘talent’ quests, we are generally less gullible than the Americans.

Jamie Foxx as the shonky mayoral candidate and Bobby Cannavale as his adviser do their best, but if you thought Pierce Brosnan had Van Gogh’s ear for music when singing in Mama Mia, you should hear Cameron Diaz in this. Ouch.

~ John Campbell


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Interview with Mitch King from Dream Bigger

Dream Bigger is presenting Lismore Youth Festival in partnership with numerous organisations in Lismore. Dream Bigger connects established artists with potential future artists to make their ideas a reality through engaging workshops and collaboration. The Echo spoke to Mitch King from Dream Bigger.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 14 April, 2021

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 14 April, 2021

Northern Rivers Food Harvest food trail will return in 2021!

The Northern Rivers Food Harvest Food Trail, to be held on the weekend of 1–2 May 2021, is guaranteed to be a very Northern Rivers experience, reflecting and celebrating the distinctive provenance of our region’s food. The Trail will offer lots of wonderful eating and drinking experiences; being jam-packed with our most-acclaimed restaurants, producers, farmers and growers.

Local start-up brings you breakfast in bed

Breakfast is now a whole lot more luxurious with the recent launch of Le Petit Brekkie in the Byron Shire. Changing how we enjoy breakfast, Emma and Kevin, the team behind the business, curate fresh, locally sourced breakfast boxes to be delivered directly to their clients’ doors. With the tagline ‘breakfast in bed, delivered’, Le Petit Brekkie hopes to make the indulgence of a lazy lie-in even more tempting.