19 October 2012

Any Day Now (Travis Fine, 2012, USA)

According to the director, this film is very loosely based on a true story, and somewhat less loosely based on a script that was written over 30 years ago, based upon that story. The director also said that this film was nearly made several times with several big name actors over the years, but it never happened. Until now. Alan Cumming stars as a drag queen in San Franscisco in 1979. His next door neighbor is a junkie and this junkie is mother to a 14 year old son with Down Syndrome named Marco. After the mom lands in the slammer, Alan Cumming and his new boyfriend, a closeted lawyer, fight the system in an effort to raise the child.

The film is often overly sentimental and occasionally shrill. It's been accused of playing like a Lifetime movie and that's a fair criticism. All the same, the film is remarkably effective and a serious crowd pleaser, even if it challenges the audience somewhat in the last act. Alan Cumming is phenomenal, as is the actor who plays Marco. In general, most of the acting is strong, but the two old white men who play the villains in the piece are so creepy and wooden that they seem like cartoon characters. One of the best things about the film though is how true it seems to the period in which the story takes place. The atmosphere of the film really evokes that late 70s era better than most other things I can think of because the film never seems to wink at you or gin up nostalgia. It just seems true to the time. It's nice.

No comments:

Post a Comment