Add Alan Cumming/Garrett Dilahunt starrer "Any Day Now" to this year's list of undernoticed little gems. Set in 1979-80 about a gay couple struggling to adopt an essentially abandoned boy with Down's Syndrome, a story that could have been treacly becomes anything but in the hands of those actors and director Travis Fine, who shares script credit with George Arthur Bloom.
Strong supporting work by Frances Fisher, Jamie Anne Allman, Kelli Williams and others aid the cause, though none more than John Burroughs High grad Issac Levya, who as the teenage boy at the center of the drama giving a sensitive, moving performance.
Competition in the male acting categories undercuts much of the film's chances for honors, but it's worth giving a chance. Here are snippets from Boyd Van Hoeij's Variety review:
This intimate character drama explores gay adoption rights, or rather the lack thereof, in 1970s Los Angeles without ever becoming preachy or pushing for contempo relevance. ... Fine, reworking a screenplay written almost four decades ago by George Arthur Bloom, successfully combines character flourishes and narrative development in almost every scene, turning the pic into a forward-barreling story populated with fully rounded people. ... Period setting is specific enough to see these problems in context, and Fine refrains from pushing analogies to the current gay adoption debate beyond what naturally arises from the material. Instead, the helmer successfully casts the couple's fight as a test of character, thus ensuring "Any Day Now" is primarily a story of people, not issues. ...