ANY DAY NOW (2012)
Running Time: 97 mins. Rating: x Stars/5 Stars
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Travis Fine
Distributor: Music Box Films
Cast: Alan Cumming, Garret Dillahunt, Isaac Leyva, Frances Fisher, Gregg Henry, Jamie Anne Allman, Chris Mulkey, Don Franklin, Kelli Williams, Alan Rachins, Mindy Sterling, Miracle Laurie, Michael Nouri
Nowadays same-sex couples residing in Utah or Mississippi cannot legally adopt children at all. Sixteen other states in the U.S. allow joint-gay adoptions, among which is the state of California. This was not always the case in the Golden State. If you were a homosexual/lesbian person wanting to adopt a child you faced a tough court system and stood a miniscule chance of winning.
Such a case is described in ANY DAY NOW. It tells the story of Rudy (Alan Cumming) and Paul (Garret Dillahunt). They meet in 1979 at Rudy’s workplace, a gay bar in Los Angeles, where he is a cross-dressing singing female impersonator. Paul (Garret Dillahunt) is an Assistant District Attorney, a recent heterosexually divorced man, not out-of-the-closet yet. An instant attraction occurs. Rudy lives in a downscale apartment house, where his neighbor Marianna (Jamie Anne Allman) blasts disco music at all hours while snorting drugs. After her arrest for drug possession, Rudy discovers that her fourteen years old son Marco (Isaac Levy) who is afflicted with Down’s Syndrome is left alone. Rudy and Paul decide to care for Marco, after obtaining a legal permission from the now-imprisoned boy’s mother, and this is when things go wrong.
Though Marco, a chubby chocolate doughnut lover, flourishes in school and learns how to read, write and recite, his guardians are advised by Marco’s teacher “people are talking”. Paul gets fired from his position at the District Attorney’s office and the pair goes through laborious court appearances, with tough Judge Meyerson (Frances Fisher) presiding. Things become worth when the pair hires a lawyer and Judge Resnick (Alan Rachins) decides to surrender Marco back to his biological mother, now released from prison.
If all this sounds melodramatic to potential viewers, director Travis Fine will prove them wrong. His excellent direction, writing and no-nonsense approach shy away from over sentimentality and tears.
Alan Cumming in the role of Rudy puts a spectacularly relaxed performance as a speaker and a lipsyncher. We are also treated to his real voice, as he becomes a singer in a nightclub later on, (“Backstory Blues”, “Come To Me”, “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore”, and “I Shall Be Released”).
Garret Dillahunt in the role of Paul gives a toned-down performance of a heterosexual man discovering love all over again, this time with another man. Looking anxious every day, following the required dress code in his workplace or office parties, he reminds us of a deer caught in blinding car lights, not knowing what to do once he is discovered and labeled.
Isaac Leyva in the role of Marco gives a mostly silent, yet a heartfelt, performance of a disabled child, whom society would have shunned and institutionalized in the 1950’s. Good supporting performances are given all around by Frances Fisher, Chris Mulkey, Jamie Anne Allman and Alan Rachins.
Director of Photography Rachel Morrison captures the drabness of the late 1970’s and Costume Designer Samantha Kuester gives viewers a look of what men’s clothing looked like in in 1979 (ugly).
This 97 minute little indie will attract same-sex couples that face adoption issues, as well as general audiences that will be fascinated by an excellent ensemble acting as well as a tour-de-force performance by Alan Cumming.
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