Movie Review: 'Any Day Now' -- 3 stars

Garret Dillahunt, left, Isaac Leyva, center, and Alan

Garret Dillahunt, left, Isaac Leyva, center, and Alan Cumming in "Any Day Now." (Credit: Garret Dillahunt, left, Isaac Leyva, center, and Alan Cumming in "Any Day Now" )

Any Day Now
3 stars
Directed by Travis Fine
Starring Alan Cumming, Garret Dillahunt, Isaac Leyva
Rated R

"Any Day Now," a somber new drama from director Travis Fine, begins by following a lonely, isolated teenager with Down syndrome named Marco (Isaac Leyva), as he wanders the streets of Los Angeles alone, lost and nervously clutching a doll.

The son of a drug addict, Marco is one of countless young people who fall through society's cracks every day, neglected and forgotten because they have the misfortune of being born to the wrong people at the wrong time.

In one sense, Fine's movie is a case study centered on that larger social problem, and in the wrong hands it could have been cloying, agenda-driven fare. But this filmmaker is better than that, and his cast -- fronted by Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt as a gay couple trying to adopt Marco in Los Angeles circa 1979 -- is too smart to deal in reductive nonsense.

Above all, "Any Day Now" is a tender love story on multiple fronts. There's the blossoming romance between Cumming's Rudy, an aimless drag performer, and Dillahunt's Paul, an assistant district attorney discovering himself later in life. But the movie centers on the strong bond between Rudy and Marco, in which Rudy's sympathy for Marco's plight expands into the sort of fiercely protective, parental love that every child deserves and too many never experience.

"Any Day Now" navigates downbeat terrain in its depiction of the legal system's pervasive homophobia and callous disregard for Marco, but it's subdued without descending into gloominess. There's joy in the small moments and fierce, humanist dignity in Cumming's performance. The movie rejects caricature and false uplift to arrive at a more truthful, naturalistic place. It's not escapism in any sense, but sometimes that's just what you need.

Tags: ENTERTAINMENT , Movies , ANY DAY NOW , ROBERT LEVIN , ARTICLE , AMNY , HOLD

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