November 27, 2012

Any Day Now

Any Day NowIt’s rare to come across such a unique cinematic gem as director/co-screenwriter Travis Fine’s riveting drama about a ‘70s era gay couple’s attempt to adopt a boy with Down syndrome. Alan Cumming gives a superb performance as Rudy Donatello, a Los Angeles lip-synch drag singer who discovers romantic and paternal love. 

Queens-transplant Rudy lives in a single room occupancy where his drug-abusing neighbor Marianna (Jamie Anne Allman) abandons her mentally challenged son Marco (Isaac Leyva) after her incarceration. Rudy sees through Marco’s disability to the sweet soul that resides within. Indeed, Isaac Leyva's performance substantiates Rudy's insights. A concurrent meet-up between Rudy and Paul (Garrett Dillahunt – “Winter’s Bone”), a gay L.A. district attorney, quickly blossoms into a stable relationship from which the couple attempt to provide a permanent home for Marco.

Garrett Dillahunt’s performance is a revelation. Not only does the objectively brawny actor evince compassion, but he shares a tangible chemistry with Cumming. The on-screen relationship represents a thoroughly believable vision of gay romantic love. Germane musical set pieces intersperse the story, allowing Alan Cumming to tear up the proscenium stage with haunting songs performed in character. Dramatic narrative depth arises from the layers of necessary emotion Cumming puts into the songs that he lip-syncs and the ones he actually sings. You’ve never witnessed a more searing rendition of “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore.” As for Cumming’s knockout performance of the film’s closing song, I’ll leave you to discover that reward without spoiling the surprise.

“Any Day Now” is a powerful independent film that could slip through the cracks. It is also a significant addition to the cannon of LGBT cinema. If you have a chance to see it on the big screen, don’t pass it up. I guarantee you will be moved.

Rated R. 97 mins. (A) (Five Stars - out of five/no halves)

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