“You’re witnessing my moment, you see?”

So goes a lyric in “Opportunity,” one of several new songs that sneaks its way in among the standards in this latest film adaptation of the stage musical Annie.

It’s a cute moment for the big-hearted, big-hearted orphan taken in by a standoffish single moneybags with mayoral aspirations first for press, then for paternal instinct. But when Quvenzhané Wallis — the Oscar-nominated firecracker from 2012’s Beasts of the Southern Wild — utters those words, it’s impossible to not hear the soaring context of confidence from a child actress undeniably aware of her talent.

Wallis’s take on Annie is inimitable. She’s irrepressibly optimistic and fiercely independent, but not invulnerable. You believe she’s a little kid who looks out at a big world and fears it can’t possibly meet her enthusiasm halfway. That she takes a certain pleasure, and feels a certain sadness, in being alone. That she’s right in defiantly making people earn her trust but generous with love for those who do. With such conviction and presence, we are, indeed, witnessing Wallis’s moment.

Those moments are pretty much all that’s worth witnessing in this version of Annie, which updates the Great Depression setting of the classic story to a present-day musical vision that’s … well, just kind of depressing.

Because Wallis and Jamie Foxx (as Will Stacks, Annie’s guardian and today’s version of Oliver Warbucks) are African-American — as are celebrity producers Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter — the film has pitched itself as a radical reworking of an old-school musical into a more contemporary, edgier R&B opus. Unfortunately, most of its new arrangements are musical aspartame — chemically precise, calorie-free and with a thin, tinny aftertaste. Like OneRepublic.

“I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here” bounces as it should. Idiosyncratic Australian pop star Sia puts an effervescent spin on “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile.” And the aforementioned “Opportunity” has a stripped-down sweetness. But the rest alternates between pop Muzak and risible misfires.

Foxx’s long-delayed solo number resembles a quiet-storm bedroom croon even though it’s a can-do song about making dreams happen. Woefully miscast as the boozy orphanage matron Miss Hannigan, Cameron Diaz unintentionally mimics Flight of the Conchords’ purposefully flat monotone during “Little Girls,” the beat of which has been reimagined here as the worst fun. song you’ve ever heard. The less said of a third-act attempt to humanize Hannigan, the better. And when Patricia Clarkson cameos, you’ll think: Now there’s a modern-era harridan for Hannigan.

This isn’t a purist slapdown that rejects, on principle, trying something new with classic material; Annie simply reduces most of the showstoppers to background music. (Bonus points for not overselling “Tomorrow,” though.) The only song that boasts charmingly rough edges is “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” and that’s just because it simply co-opts Jay-Z’s bumping-beat version from 16 (!) years ago. It makes sense that Stacks is a rampant germophobe; this movie’s afraid of getting grit on its hands, too.

The antiseptic touch extends to co-writer director Will Gluck, from whose résumé (Easy A and Friends with Benefits) nothing suggests the skill for a musical. In lieu of scope and spectacle, Gluck provides all the visual oomph of an ABC Family promo. The production numbers are cut-cut-cut-cut-cut in ways suggesting Gluck doesn’t trust his choreographer (Zachary Woodlee, who brought a bubbly bounce to 2007’s Hairspray), his cast (including stage-veteran actors like Bobby Cannavale, who successfully acquits himself with poise) or, most damning of all, his own abilities.

Gluck’s New York location filming feels as stifled and stiff as the script, which is far too infatuated with its social-media saturation and which takes the occasional, strangely mean-spirited jab at the homeless (“They prefer to be called bums, not hobos”). Gluck and co-writer Aline Brosh McKenna’s best gag — a bone thrown to contemporary moviegoers — is Moonquake Lake, a fictitious film whose premiere Annie attends and which is fraught with clever cameos and directorial credits.

And yet Annie isn’t an utter disaster. How could it be given Wallis’s unfettered joy and the easy rapport she shares with the equally charismatic Foxx and the irresistible Rose Byrne, who plays Stacks’ personal assistant, Grace? While the rest of the film strains mightily to manufacture whimsy, their jubilance comes naturally.

“Never slow your roll,” Stacks tells Annie. Here’s hoping Wallis heeds that advice in the future. In Annie, she’s the only reason you get treated instead of tricked.