With polls telling us that the majority of Americans now favor same-sex marriage, viewing the 2012 film Any Day Now, based on a true story and written/directed by Travis Fine, becomes a doubly moving experience.
When, in the late 1970s, a West Hollywood drag queen performer (Alan Cumming) and a closeted lawyer (Garret Dillahunt) become guardians for an abandoned teenage boy with Down syndrome (Isaac Leyva), their year together as a devoted family enriches them all until suddenly faced with the bias views of society and a custody battle that threatens to tear them apart. The men’s fight to stay in their son’s life and that son’s obvious desire to remain with them are riveting to watch.
Dillahunt is convincing as lawyer Paul who summons personal and professional courage as he is swept up into a hastily-assembled yet well-intentioned family unit, and who arguably embarks on the most dramatic inner journey among the characters. Leyva gives a remarkable debut performance as young Marco: his words may be few, but his scenes of deep devotion to the men who save him from an abusive mother are played superbly.
But it is Alan Cumming as drag queen/aspiring singer Rudy who anchors the film, as he reminds us yet again of his remarkable versatility. We know him as a Tony Award winner for the musical Cabaret and as political operative Eli Gold on the TV series The Good Wife, while Broadway audiences are currently watching him perform all the parts in a new version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. But here we have a free-spirited and sweet-natured, yet determined, man in love with both the vulnerable stranger who wanders into his club one night, and the needy boy they long to protect and nurture at all costs. Cumming may be proudly Scottish by birth, but I believe he is one of America’s national artistic treasures.
The DVD also includes a featurette on the making of the film, and an interview with Isaac Leyva.
Cathy Ritchie, writing for Dallas Library Pride!