★★★★★ | Any Day Now
So, here’s the thing, I can be an old, hard cynical fart when I want to be – but occasionally, just occasionally along comes something that makes me weep like a baby.
This film is one of those things.
What starts out as a simple story of love and acceptance quickly turns into one of bigotry and spite – leading to an unexpected ending. Based on a true story, this is one emotional roller-coaster.
The storyline is simple, boy meets boy, boy blows boy in front seat of car, Rudy (Alan Cumming) is a low rent drag queen/singer, Paul (Garret Dillahunt) is a closeted lawyer – and these are our two main characters. Set in Los Angeles in 1978, Rudy lives in a flea pit apartment block, and when his drug addicted neighbour is arrested and sent to jail, the twosome take in her teenage son Marco (Isaac Leyva) and become the family unit they all want and need.
However, this is the late ’70s, and their family soon draw the wrong kind of attention, and then the prejudice kicks in. A biased legal system, people perceptions of gay life and children – a far cry from the current ads being run by several councils offering fostering with images of smiling gay or lesbian couples as images of happy families.
It highlights a time when it was “in the child’s best interest” to be placed with a convicted drug addict, rather than a loving same sex couple. When a downs syndrome child may be better off incarcerated in an institution rather then even consider that a gay couple could give him the love and caring he needs.
There are some lovely set pieces in the film, the loving couple Rudy and Paul portray, the stories Marco needs to sleep (always with a happy ending), his love of donuts and Isaac’s acting ability – the heart wrenching scene when he cries himself to sleep as he can’t go home.
A strong cast and crew make this one of the best films of its kind in a long time with Travis Fine doing a great job as director, writer and producer.
My advice, buy a big bag of Minstrels and an entire box of Kleenex before hitting play – enjoy the film, and the cry!