Any Day Now (M)

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Review byMatthew Turner7/09/2013

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 97 mins

Impressively directed and superbly written, this is a powerfully emotional, uncompromising drama with a pair of terrific performances from Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt.

What's it all about?
Co-written and directed by Travis Fine, Any Day Now is inspired by a true story and set in 1979 West Hollywood, where Rudy Donatello (Alan Cumming) has a nightclub act as a lip-synching drag artist. When he meets closeted, recently divorced lawyer Paul Fliger (Garret Dillahunt) after catching his eye in the audience for his act, the pair begin a tentative relationship, but when Rudy's junkie neighbour (Jamie Anne Allman) abandons her Down's Syndrome son Marco (Isaac Leyva), Rudy decides to look after him and asks Paul to help him get custody.

Though still closeted at work, Paul nonetheless invites Rudy and Marco to live with him, in order to help with their legal status for foster custody. Soon the trio are a de facto family, with Marco living a happy life at a new school, but when Paul is outed after a work party, the authorities step in and try to take Marco away from them.

The Good
Cumming and Dillahunt are both terrific character actors, so it's a treat to see them taking centre stage for once; despite their differing personalities, their relationship is entirely convincing and genuinely moving. There's also superb support from newcomer Isaac Leyva, whose bond with Cumming's character is powerfully emotional, as well as reliable turns from Frances Fisher (as the judge in their custody case), Chris Mulkey (as Paul's shifty boss) and Mindy Sterling as Marco's kind hearted teacher Miss Mills.

The script is excellent, managing to steer clear of TV-movie-of-the-week sentimentality and exploring themes and issues that are powerfully resonant. To that end, the 1970s setting allows for an extra layer of outrage because the prejudice is so blatant (Rudy and Paul are told in court that, despite the obvious love they have for Marco and the positive influence they have had on his life, at the end of the day, he will still grow up believing their relationship is “normal”), but that same sequence also serves as a harsh reminder that such bigotry still exists today, albeit in a less open form.

The Great
The film is crisply shot by cinematographer Rachel Morrison (which actually makes a nice change from the usual 1970s soft focus pastiche style) and there's a superb soundtrack, including a terrific song sung by Cummings himself (his lip-synching act is also sensational). In addition, Fine also orchestrates a number of highly memorable and affecting scenes, such as an awkward party thrown by Mulkey's character, and the film deserves a huge amount of credit for its uncompromising ending.

Worth seeing?
This is a superbly made drama that packs a powerful emotional punch, thanks to a strong script and terrific performances from Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt. Highly recommended.

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Content updated: 20/05/2019 18:21

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