Any Day Now  (2012)    69/100

Rating :   69/100                                                                       97 Min        15

Touted as Alan Cumming’s best performance to date, a statement I would not disagree with, this tells the true story of an American homosexual couple’s fight in the 1970s to win custody over a child with Down syndrome from his drug addicted, and neglectful to the point of criminality, mother. Cumming (who, incidentally, grow up around Carnoustie in Scotland – the same home town as Ian McDiarmid, a.k.a. the emperor in the Star Wars franchise {episodes I, II, III & VI}, a character that in light of the new films currently lined up may or may not have survived the events of ‘The Return of the Jedi’ 84) plays Rudy Donatello, the more flamboyant and outspoken of the two, whose occupation at the opening of the film is as a miming drag queen in a gay nightclub, whilst his partner Paul Fliger, played by Garret Dillahunt, is a district attorney.

It’s a tough, and yet important story, highlighting human prejudice and the failings of the legal system in America designed to safeguard vulnerable minors. Despite its worthiness, however, I would be lying if I said I found it easy to become especially emotionally involved with the film. It is perhaps due to the story spending too much time focusing on the adults and the ramifications of their sexual orientation, rather than the experiences of the child, Marco (played here by Isaac Leyva), which is where the connection with the audience should be centred. It’s still a good film though, and Cumming gets the opportunity to show us he can sing as well as act (the title comes from a line in the song ‘I Shall be Released’ by Bob Dylan).

Interestingly, Cumming and fellow actor Brian Cox (who is from Dundee, just west of Carnoustie) were two of the speakers at the launch of the ‘Yes campaign’ for Scottish independence, a launch that took place at Cineworld in Edinburgh and seen politics nod very heavily to the powerful influence of cinema. Indeed, analysts are predicting the ‘Braveheart generation’ to play a key role in deciding the vote in 2014 – that is, the people who were growing up when the film was released in 1995. Ah humans, bless them. I remember the olden days of independence and the comings and goings of the English, the French, the Vikings, the Scots, the Picts, the Romans, the Celts, the Africans … everyone who came to Scotland eventually fell in love with the land and were welcomed by the natives. Or we killed them. One of the two.

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