Any Day Now

“Critics’ Pick!: When Alan Cumming turns on his beaming grin in “Any Day Now,” Travis Fine’s militant tear-jerker, he conveys such intense, unguarded emotion you almost want to avert your eyes. That smile, and the blazing performance it distills, conveys so ferocious a mixture of desire, hurt, defiance, courage, neediness and reckless abandon that it makes everyone else seem cowardly. You consider the real meaning of the Jerry Herman anthem, “I Am What I Am,” from “La Cage aux Folles,” as it is lived out in extremis by one flamboyantly gay man. Mr. Cumming plays Rudy Donatello, a transplanted New Yorker who is the free-spirited lead lip-syncher in a troupe of drag queens earning a meager living in a West Hollywood bar. It is 1979, and Rudy is first seen onstage mouthing the words to France Joli’s disco hit “Come to Me” with a delirious enjoyment. Rudy, who dreams of being an actual nightclub singer, later delivers the same song as a slow, tender ballad in Mr. Cumming’s own appealing voice. — Stephen Holden, New York Times. R. 97 Min.

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