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|Any Day Now
dir Travis Fine
scr Travis Fine, George Arthur Bloom
prd Kristine Hostetter Fine, Travis Fine, Liam Finn, Chip Hourihan
with Alan Cumming, Garret Dillahunt, Isaac Leyva, Frances Fisher, Gregg Henry, Jamie Anne Allman, Chris Mulkey, Don Franklin, Kelli Williams, Alan Rachins, Mindy Sterling, Michael Nouri
release US 14.Dec.12, UK 6.Sep.13
Odd couple: Dillahunt and Cumming
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E
Even though the true events depicted in this award-winning film took place more than 30 years ago, this story has a powerful resonance today as it explores endemic prejudice. This is about a unjust, lopsided system that puts its own ignorance and bigotry over the needs of a child, and watching it is utterly riveting because the film's focus is so humane.
In 1979 West Hollywood, Rudy (Cumming) is a drag artist in a nightclub, where he meets Paul (Dillahunt), a divorced lawyer who has reluctantly admitted to himself that he's gay. When his hard-partying neighbour (Allman) abandons her mentally disabled son Marco (Leyva), Rudy steps in to care for him. Paul helps Rudy get foster custody, moving them into his home to help with their legal status. As they become a family, things start to get difficult as Paul tries to remain closeted. And when it emerges that they're gay, Marco is taken away.
The story balances light real-life humour with suddenly tense moments of drama and systemic homophobia. But filmmaker Fine never lets this become an issue movie: it's about real people standing up for what they know is right. Even as it shifts into a series of courtroom scenes, the film centres on the relationships, which develop warmly and honestly with relaxed, realistic awkwardness.
Cumming and Dillahunt are thoroughly believable as a fascinating odd couple, the unapologetic queen and the strong-but-silent repressed guy. Cumming has the ability to be hilarious and darkly vicious at the same time, underscoring everything with passion. Their interaction with Leyva is sharp and honest, never remotely condescending. And Leyva's performance carries a huge emotional kick.
Fine directs the film with loose energy that draws us into the situations in a warm, resonant and sometimes wrenching way. It's beautifully shot and edited, capturing the period without being fussy about it. More importantly, and even urgently, there's a subtle blast of righteous anger woven through the script, as the court's only reason for removing Marco from Paul and Rudy's care is that the child might think their relationship is "normal". Which reminds us how far we've come. But also how far we still have to go.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S
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© 2013 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
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