Gay marriage was a hot button issue during this year’s presidential election and next month director Travis Fine will expand upon the subject of gay rights when his film, “Any Day Now,” opens in theaters.
Inspired by true events, this emotional piece is about a gay performer who seeks to adopt a Down syndrome child with his partner. Alan Cumming portrays Rudy, a flamboyant and free-spirited performer who takes in the neighbor’s son after the mother is locked up for drug use and possession.
Looking out for the child’s best interest, Rudy phones his partner, Paul (Garret Dillahunt), who works for the DA’s office, for assistance. When his call is not accepted, Alan is persistent. Vigilant, he storms into the attorney’s office with child in tow. But Paul, who is still living life as a straight man, is fearful and reluctant to put his job and reputation on the line should his true sexual orientation be discovered. After all, it was the 1970s before certain anti-discrimination laws were in place.
It doesn’t take long for Paul to come around, however, and during the custody battle, the couple’s relationship strengthens. Rudy, who is out and proud, infuses the self-confidence Paul lacks by reminding the closeted lawyer of why he became an attorney in the first place, which was to make a difference and to stand up for people such as himself and their son, Marco (Isaac Leyva). In turn, Paul gives Rudy a sense of self worth.
The performances are, as one would expect, remarkable. Cummings is the true standout, which isn’t surprising given his body of work. Through his honest depiction of a man who only wishes to do the right thing, Rudy is immediately likable. Garret Dillahunt, who many may know from the sitcom “Raising Hope,” surprises with his effective portrayal of Paul, a man struggling with his sexuality. But without Isaac Leyva, an actor with Down syndrome, the film would have been far less impactful. Based on his performance, one wouldn’t know this was his first feature.
Although there were a few melodramatic moments, I was too absorbed by the overall story and acting for that to bother me. Travis Fine’s admirable direction and the stellar cast are to thank for that.
But don’t take my word for it, the film is also a festival favorite having won the following awards:
- • Chicago International Film Festival 2012 – Audience Award
• Seattle International Film Festival 2012 – Best Actor Award, Alan Cumming
• Seattle International Film Festival 2012 – Audience Award
• Tribeca Film Festival 2012 – Audience Award
• Outfest 2012 – Audience Award
• Outfest 2012 – Best Actor Award, Alan Cumming
• Provincetown International Film Festival 2012 – Audience Award
• Woodstock Film Festival 2012 – Audience Award
• Napa Valley Film Festival 2012 – Audience Award: Best Narrative Feature
• Napa Valley Film Festival 2012 – Audience Award: Best Actor, Alan Cumming
“Any Day Now” opens in select cinemas Dec. 14. For the complete list of showings, check the official site at www.anydaynowmovie.com.
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