One Fine ‘Day’

GA Voice - - A & E -

This year ends on an es­pe­cially high note for LGBT film with “Any Day Now” (Mu­sic Box Films), star­ring out ac­tor Alan Cum­ming as Rudy, a gay West Hol­ly­wood man who must deal with a prej­u­di­cial and an­ti­quated court sys­tem as he at­tempts to adopt a boy with Down syn­drome in 1979.

Cum­ming gives the per­for­mance of his ca­reer and even has the op­por­tu­nity to sing a cou­ple of num­bers in the movie.

“Any Day Now” is writ­ten and di­rected by straight film­maker Travis Fine, an At­lanta na­tive, based on an orig­i­nal screen­play by Ge­orge Arthur Bloom.

“There was some­thing that drew me to this no­tion of this out­sider try­ing to raise this child, try­ing to save this child — the Rudy char­ac­ter and the young boy be­ing out­siders,” Fine says, not­ing that he added the char­ac­ter of Paul, Rudy’s clos­eted part­ner, who was not in the orig­i­nal script. ‘Any Day Now’ Opens Dec. 21 Land­mark Mid­town Art Cin­ema 931 Mon­roe Drive, At­lanta, GA 30308 www.any­daynow­

“There was also some­thing in the sit­u­a­tion that moved me as a par­ent,” he says. “I wasn’t ex­actly quite sure why it spoke to me, but it did in a deep pro­found way.”

The film is set in 1979 West Hol­ly­wood, but could just as eas­ily have taken place in 1989 or 1999. Fine said he chose to keep the ear­lier time pe­riod be­cause the orig­i­nal screen­play was based on a true story, and to ex­plore “the gritty, char­ac­ter-driven” style of 1970s cin­ema.

“From a po­lit­i­cal point of view, the story would be dif­fer­ent, cer­tainly in Los An­ge­les in 2009 or 2012,” Fine says. “But as we all know, there are still cer­tain places, even within this coun­try, where the story wouldn’t be that much dif­fer­ent. There would be some of the same chal­lenges and hur­dles and ob­sta­cles.”

Fine says he was thrilled to have openly gay ac­tor Alan Cum­ing in the lead role.

“As a straight film­maker who had the honor of telling an im­por­tant, pro­found and mov­ing story about a chap­ter in the late ‘70s of the LGBT move­ment, it was in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant to have Alan take on that role,” Fine says.

“Not only is Alan a sen­sa­tional ac­tor, an in­cred­i­ble tal­ent and a won­der­ful hu­man be­ing, but he’s an OBE, an Or­der of the Bri­tish Em­pire, knighted by the Queen for his work on LGBT rights and equal­ity,” he says. “He is not just giv­ing lip ser­vice to equal­ity. He has fought that fight and been a vo­cal cham­pion and pro­po­nent of equal­ity and LGB T rights.”

Rudy be­gins car­ry­ing for Marco, a teen with Down Syn­drome, af­ter he vis­its a neigh­bor­ing apart­ment to com­plain about noise and finds the young man aban­doned by his mother. Isaac Levya’s per­for­mance as Marco is “bril­liant,” Fine says, not­ing that he edited the char­ac­ter to fit the ac­tor.

“We put out a na­tion­wide search for the kid, both through tra­di­tional agents and man­agers and cast­ing direc­tors around the coun­try and also through the Down Syn­drome As­so­ci­a­tions all around the coun­try,” Fine says.

“We saw peo­ple as young as 12 and 13 and some that were as old as their mid-20s. Isaac, from his very first read­ing which I saw on my com­puter, his first au­di­tion tape, there was some­thing so charm­ing, so sweet and hon­est about his per­for­mance,” he says. “It didn’t feel like act­ing.”

“Any Day Now” has won sev­eral awards at film fes­ti­vals, has cross­over ap­peal and the po­ten­tial to be re­mem­bered fondly at Os­car time. As the film heads to wider re­lease this month, “I hope the au­di­ences find it,” Fine says.

“While it can be chal­leng­ing to sit through at times, and it cer­tainly cov­ers some heavy po­lit­i­cal and emo­tional and per­sonal is­sues, it is ul­ti­mately a crowd pleaser.”

‘Any Day Now’ stars Alan Cum­ming (right) as Rudy, a gay man who wants to adopt Marco, a boy with Down Syn­drome, played by Isaac Levya (cen­ter). Gar­ret Dil­lahunt (left) is Rudy’s clos­eted part­ner, Paul. (Pub­lic­ity photo via Face­book)

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