Any Day Now, set in 1979, is still timely
|By Anders Wright|
Feature about same-sex parenthood leads our rundown of movies screening around town
There's very little one can do that's more selfless than adopt a child who has a disability. It's an enormous responsibility to take on, and we should collectively be supportive of people who are able to do it. That idea is at the heart of Any Day Now.
Directed by Travis Fine and loosely based on a true story, the movie stars Alan Cumming as Rudy, a drag queen who begins taking care of Marco (Isaac Leyva), a teenager with Down Syndrome, after Marco's abandoned by his mother. Before long, Rudy and Marco move in with Paul (Garrett Dillahunt), Rudy's new boyfriend, and the two men raise the boy as their own. That's all great, until the state learns about what's going on and quickly moves in to take Marco away from them.
These days, that wouldn't happen, but Any Day Now takes place in 1979. The court battle that Rudy and Paul face, which allows Cumming to deliver over-the-top rants about justice, is nasty and one-sided, despite the reasonable statements that Paul, a lawyer, makes on Marco's behalf. It's poignant, though, because it's easy to look at that tragic situation and feel that we've come a long way since then. In many ways, we have, but let's face it, we have a ridiculously long way to go when we're still facing Prop. 8 and the likes of Antonin Scalia.
With that in mind, Any Day Now—which opens Friday, Dec. 21, at Hillcrest Cinemas—is plenty timely despite the time period in which it's set. Let's hope that any day now, the discrimination Rudy and Paul face in the film will be something in the past.Write to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. You can follow Anders on Twitter at @anderswright.
California Solo: Robert Carlyle plays a former British pop star turned California agriculture worker who faces deportation when he's caught driving drunk.
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away: Those Canadian clowns enter a new dimension. As in, 3-D filmmaking.
The Guilt Trip: Seth Rogen takes an unexpected road trip with his mom, played by Barbra Streisand.
Jack Reacher: Tom Cruise takes on the title role in a movie based on the best-selling series of books, obviously looking for another Mission: Impossible sort of franchise.
Monsters, Inc. 3D: Sulley, Mike and Boo are coming at you, literally.
Rust and Bone: Marion Cotillard plays an orca trainer whose relationship with young Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts from last year's Oscar-nominated Bullhead) takes on a new dimension when she suffers a serious accident at work.
This is 40: Judd Apatow returns to Knocked Up territory, though this sort-of sequel focuses on Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann), who were supporting players in the earlier film.
One Time Only
A Christmas Story: TBS will run it on TV for 24 hours straight on Christmas Eve, or you could catch the holiday flick on a bigger screen. Starts at around 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19, at Sea Rocket Bistro in North Park, and at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 26, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
Christmas Vacation: If you were the Griswolds, why would you even bother? Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
It's a Wonderful Life: Small-town family man James Stewart takes on Mr. Potter, the original 1-percenter. Screens at noon and 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, at Reading Cinemas Town Square in Clairemont.
Banda dei Babbi Natale (The Santa Claus Gang): Three Italians in Santa suits are mistaken for burglars by a police chief dying to get home for the holidays. Presented by the San Diego Italian Film Festival, it screens at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.
White Christmas: Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye are a song-and-dance team who fall for a pair of sisters and try to save the inn owned by their former commanding officer. Screens at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, at Reading Cinemas Gaslamp.
Take this Waltz: The San Diego Film Critics Society just honored Michelle Williams with the Best Actress Award for her role in Sarah Polley's latest film, playing a happily married woman who falls for her neighbor. Screens at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 23, at the Central Library, Downtown.
Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Macauley Culkin's parents forget about him at Christmas. Twice.
Hyde Park on Hudson: Bill Murray plays FDR in the days leading up to WWII, and Laura Linney is the distant cousin with whom he enjoys a special relationship.
Deadfall: A botched casino heist sends Olivia Thirlby on the run. She's taken in on Thanksgiving by Charlie Hunnam (Jax in Sons of Anarchy), who finds himself in all kinds of trouble when her brother, Eric Bana, crashes the party. Ends Dec. 20 at the Ken Cinema.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Peter Jackson returns to Middle-earth in the first of three films based on the book that came before Lord of the Rings.
Khiladi 786: Bollywood comedy, screening at Horton Plaza, about a failed marriage matchmaker who ends up putting together the children of a mobster and a police inspector.
Playing for Keeps: Gerard Butler is a washedup soccer star who starts coaching his son's team. Which keeps the soccer moms happy.
The Collections: A guy escapes the clutches of a horror-movie-type serial killer, only to be cajoled into rescuing a cute girl from a booby-trapped warehouse.
Hitchcock: Anthony Hopkins plays the famed director, and Helen Mirren his wife, during the time Hitchcock was shooting Psycho.
Killing Them Softly: Brad Pitt shows why he's a movie star, effortlessly exuding cool as a mob enforcer in Andrew Dominik's art-house take on a gangster flick.
Talaash: The Answer Lies Within: A cop tries to deal with his crumbling marriage and solve a mystery in this new Bollywood thriller.
Red Dawn: The updated edition of the 1984 Cold War-paranoia pic stars Josh Hutcherson and Chris Hemsworth, who signed on and shot the movie years ago, before they were rich and famous.
Anna Karenina: Director Joe Wright teams up again with his Pride & Prejudice star Keira Knightley to take on another period drama.
Life of Pi: Ang Lee's adaptation of the Booker Prizewinning novel about a boy, a tiger and a lifeboat is this year's movie that you simply must see on a big screen and in 3-D. Really.
Rise of the Guardians: The Immortal Guardians— aka the Easter Bunny, Santa, etc.—team up to kick evil-spirit ass.
Let it Snow: The IMAX theater at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park gets animated and kidfriendly just in time for the holidays.
Silver Linings Playbook: Bradley Cooper plays Pat, a bipolar guy from Philly who's just out of the mental hospital, having lost his job, his home and his wife. He moves in with his parents (Jacki Weaver and Robert De Niro) in hopes of regaining his marriage, but things are thrown askew by Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), who has problems of her own.
Lincoln: It might as well have been called The 13th Amendment. Despite another spellbinding performance from Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln's biopic is really about getting legislation through Congress.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2: At last, the long national nightmare is over.
Skyfall: Daniel Craig's third outing as 007 is thankfully closer to Casino Royale than Quantum of Solace. This time, he's going up against Javier Bardem, who has some history with MI-6.
The Other Son: An Israeli and a Palestinian discover they were switched at birth.
Tales of the Maya Skies: This IMAX movie explores the rich history of the Mayan people, just in time for the end of the world. At the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
The Man With the Iron Fists: The Wu-Tang Clan's RZA co-wrote (with Eli Roth), directed and stars in this ultraviolent martial-arts epic, which also features Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu. They're all on the trail of a fortune in gold.
The Sessions: John Hawkes is great as Mark O'Brien, a writer and poet paralyzed by polio who turns to a sexual surrogate (Helen Hunt) in order to lose his virginity at age 38.
Wreck-It Ralph: The latest animated film from Disney stars John C. Reilly as Ralph, the bad guy in an old-school video game who desperately wants to be liked.
Chasing Mavericks: A surfing movie, surprisingly co-directed by Michael Apted and Curtis Hanson, about a teen who turns to crusty surfing legend Gerard Butler to help him survive a massive wave.
Cloud Atlas: This epic production is almost three hours long and stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent and Hugo Weaving in multiple roles. It consists of six stories that span different time periods, with a running storyline about reincarnation and the effects of our actions on future generations.
Fun Size: A teenage girl loses track of her little brother while attending a Halloween party thrown by a really cute boy.
Paranormal Activity 4: Now with more paranormal.
Seven Psychopaths: Martin McDonagh returns with another violent comedic drama. Colin Farrell stars as Marty, an L.A. screenwriter surrounded by psychopaths such as Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson and Tom Waits. Like McDonagh's debut, In Bruges, this one has an emotional heart to it, despite the blood and guts.
Argo: Ben Affleck directs and stars in this take on the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, and believe it or not, it's gonna be a Best Picture contender.
Flight of the Butterflies: It turns out Monarch butterflies are much like SDSU students—every year, thousands of them head to Mexico. This IMAX film captures their beautiful trip. The butterflies, that is.
Frankenweenie: Tim Burton hasn't made a film that's been an original idea in years, so it sort of makes sense that he'd remake one of his own movies.
Taken 2: Remember all those dudes Liam Neeson killed in the thoroughly violent Taken? At least one of them has a family member out for a little payback.
Looper: Director Rian Johnson (Brick, Brothers Bloom) teams once again with Joseph Gordon-Levitt for this time-twister; JGL is a hit man whose future self (Bruce Willis) is sent back in time to be rubbed out.
Pitch Perfect: Anna Kendrick is the new girl at college who finds her place by joining a bad-ass all-girl vocal group.
Ice Age: Continental Drift: So cold.
Flying Monsters 3D: No, it's not a crappy studio blockbuster—this one is all about dinosaurs and was written and directed by Richard Attenborough, using Avatar-like technology, and plays the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park.
To the Arctic 3-D: Cute-animal-movie alert No. 2. Meryl Streep narrates this new IMAX movie about a mama polar bear and her two cubs.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: The camp classic continues its ongoing run, Fridays at midnight at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.