Nicolette Pierini talks about her role in “Annie (2014)”

Photo Credit: Yolanda Perez

The youngest of four children in an acting family from Long Island, New York, nine-year old Nicolette Pierini was destined to follow in her elder siblings’ footsteps. She began her career as a performer in commercials and short films, including Fool’s Day, All That Remains, Keeper, Poetry Man, and Transitions. However, Pierini received her first big break when she booked the role of “Flora O’Neil” opposite veteran actors Morgan Freeman and Virginia Madsen in the Rob Reiner-directed drama THE MAGIC OF BELLE ISLE. Also, she most recently, appeared as “Lola” in the feature film TIO PAPI, directed by Fro Rojas.

This week she will appear as Mia opposite Quvenzhané Wallis in the new film adaptation of the popular Broadway musical, “Annie.” While taking a break from a busy day in New York, young Nicolette took time out to talk to me about the film.

Mike Smith: Can you tell us about Mia, your character in “Annie”?
Nicolette Pierini: She is the youngest of the foster children. She’s very young and she loves Annie. She has a very big heart.

MS: How did you get the role?
NP: I had to go to various auditions. One for acting. One for singing and acting. And then one for dancing and singing and acting.

MS: Had you had a lot of musical training before you auditioned?
NP: I went to dance lessons so I had a little bit of experience. I could tap and I could ballet, so I did have a little dance training. And I’d done a lot of singing. I love singing. It’s really fun.

MS: What kind of music do you like?
NP: Any kind really. I love the music…I love the emotions behind a song. I like how a song is put together. I’ve actually written some songs myself.

MS: Do you think as you get older you’ll try to pursue a musical career as well?
NP: (considering the question) Yeah…YEAH!

MS: What else are you working on?
NP: Right now I’m just going on auditions and I’ll see what comes. Hopefully something that’s right for me.

Nicolette loves to hear from her fans. You can drop her a note at the following social media sites:
Twitter: @Npierini0

Film Review “Annie (2014)”

Starring: Quvenzhane Wallis, Jamie Foxx, and Rose Byrne
Directed By: Will Gluck
Rated: PG
Running Time: 118 minutes
Columbia Pictures

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

I need to be upfront with everyone. I have never seen any previous creation of “Annie”. I’ve never laid eyes upon the 1982 original film adaptation, I haven’t viewed a live stage production, or have taken the time to watch either made-for-TV movies on the little orphan. Like most though, I do know the basic premise, and the songs “Tomorrow” and “It’s the Hard Knock Life”. I also have fond memories of the delightful scene in “Serial Mom” where a woman is battered to death while singing along to the movie. I’m not telling you to not to take my opinion seriously or with a grain of salt, but just keep in mind, I had no expectations. With that said, “Annie” is probably your best bet for family fun this holiday season.

Annie (Wallis) is a cheeky young girl gallivanting around Harlem and searching for her parents, believing that they will return to her one day. Then they will be the happy family she dreams they will be. Annie lives with other foster children in the care of Miss Colleen Hannigan (Cameron Diaz). She’s soaked in booze and uses every vocal opportunity she has to put Annie down.

In the much nicer, cleaner and more brightly lit part of town, is Will Stacks (Foxx). He’s an isolationist cell phone tycoon and an absolute germaphobe. Not as bad as Howard Hughes though. His habits don’t mix well with his current mission, to become the mayor of New York City. Watching him in action, you actually wonder how someone like him went along with the idea of becoming a public official for one of the world’s largest cities in the first place. At one point he spits up mashed potatoes on a homeless person.

So by pure chance, these two meet. Stacks “saves” Annie’s life and he quickly disregards Annie, right after applying some hand sanitizer, as to not get any poor on him. His circle of trust, the lovely Grace (Byrne) and the skeevy Guy (Bobby Canavale) see the potential to increase his likeability amongst the populace by having him temporarily adopt Annie. Annie simply sees this as another great opportunity in life although she’s fully aware she’s a political ploy. Hijinks, flashy tech, and montages ensue along with some catchy tunes that I haven’t heard besides the aforementioned songs.

The highest praise I can give this movie isn’t to the movie itself, but to Rose Byrne and Quvenzhane Wallis. The actresses already radiate a delightful charm by themselves, but together they’re quite endearing. Their scenes together feel like the most genuine among any of the other characters. While most dialogue in “Annie” feels hokey or nauseatingly cute, the conversations between their two characters feel honest. It’s almost like they give each other some meaningful girl power to help propel their own self-esteem and optimistic outlook.

Outside of that, there are a list of negatives, including an overacting Cameron Diaz, an odd pro and anti-capitalist slant, and hit or miss self-aware winks towards the camera; just to name a few. What had me push all those aside is the charming energy this pumped into me. I tapped my toes, I smiled, I laughed, and if you have any kind of happy reaction to something, it’s worth noting.

While I may have nothing to compare “Annie” to in terms of its predecessors and stories, I must note that it comes off playfully mocking towards the original source content. It’s almost like it knows that what it’s doing is sure to piss some people off, such as fans of the original. Well. I’m not a fan of the original. I enjoyed its taunts, its urban take on the original score, and it’s smug cuteness.

Win Passes to the Orlando, FL Advance Screening of “Annie” [ENDED]

Media Mikes is teaming up with Sony to allow our readers to attend an advance screening of “Annie” in Orlando, FL. If you want to get a chance to get tickets go to the link below and enter the code. Passes are first come, first serve. As allows remember to come back to Media Mikes to post your comments of the film here!

Code: AnnieMediaMikes

Saturday, December 13
AMC Altamonte


In Theaters December 19, 2014

ANNIE has been rated PG by the MPAA for the following reasons: SOME MILD LANGUAGE AND RUDE HUMOR.

A Broadway classic that has delighted audiences for generations comes to the big screen with a new, contemporary vision in Columbia Pictures’ comedy Annie. Director/Producer/Screenwriter Will Gluck teams with producers James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith & Will Smith, Caleeb Pinkett, and Shawn “JAY Z” Carter, Laurence “Jay” Brown, and Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith with a modern telling that captures the magic of the classic characters and original show that won seven Tony Awards. Celia Costas and Alicia Emmrich serve as Executive Producers. The screenplay is by Will Gluck and Aline Brosh McKenna, based on the musical stage play “Annie,” book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and on “Little Orphan Annie,” © and ® Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Academy Award® nominee Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) stars as Annie, a young, happy foster kid who’s also tough enough to make her way on the streets of New York in 2014. Originally left by her parents as a baby with the promise that they’d be back for her someday, it’s been a hard knock life ever since with her mean foster mom Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz). But everything’s about to change when the hard-nosed tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) – advised by his brilliant VP, Grace (Rose Byrne) and his shrewd and scheming campaign advisor, Guy (Bobby Cannavale) – makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in. Stacks believes he’s her guardian angel, but Annie’s self-assured nature and bright, sun-will-come-out-tomorrow outlook on life just might mean it’s the other way around.

Blu-ray Review “Annie: 30th Anniversary – Sing-Along Edition”

Director: John Huston
Starring: Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, Tim Curry, Bernadette Peters, Ann Reinking, Aileen Quinn
MPAA Rating: PG
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Running Time: 127 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

Who doesn’t love little ole’ Annie and her wonderful songs like “Tomorrow,” “Easy Street,” “It’s the Hard-Knock Life”.  This wonderful Blu-ray release from Sony celebrates the film’s 30th Anniversary with its very impressive Sing-Along Edition.  This film was adapted from the smash Tony Award®-winning musical comedy based on the “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip.  It also packs one of the best musical casts including Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, Aileen Quinn, Bernadette Peters, Ann Reinking and Tim Curry.  I remember the first time I saw this film with my then girlfriend (now wife) many years ago.  This musical still brings a smile to my face and has you singing along with little Annie and her friends. Highly recommended!

SYNOPSIS: The charismatic little orphaned Annie’s (Aileen Quinn) luck changes for the better when billionaire Oliver Warbucks (Albert Finney) arrives at the orphanage looking to take one of the children for a short time. Annie soon charms the billionaire with her lively warm nature and together they set out to search for Annie’s parents. With the mean head of the orphanage, Miss Hannigan (Carol Burnett) attempting to hinder their plan, Annie’s search will prove to be quite a heartwarming journey.

This 30th Anniversary Blu-ray both looks and sounds amazing.  The 1080p transfer really brings out the color in the film and looks very sharp.  It’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track works perfectly with the sounds and sounds just amazing!  This release also comes with an Ultraviolet digital streaming copy.  The special features are not amazing but still good.  Exclusive to the Blu-ray is “Sing-Along with Annie”, which allows fans to sing along to all their favorite songs.  There is also a musical performance of “It’s the Hard-Knock Life” by pop group Play. There is only one production featurette called “My Hollywood Adventure with Aileen Quinn”, short but worth checking out. Lastly, the Blu-ray also includes the original trailers and TV spots from the film.