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USA, 2011, 96 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Drama, GLBT, Historical/Period, Social Issues
Programs: Cinema Q, Special PresentationLanguage: English
DIRECTOR: Travis Fine
Producer: Travis Fine, Kristine Hostetter Fine, Chip HouirihanEditor: Tom CrossScreenwriter: Travis Fine, George BloomCinematographer: Rachel MorrisonPrincipal Cast: Alan Cumming, Garret Dillahunt, Frances Fisher, Isaac Leyva, Gregg Henry, Jamie Allman, Kelli Williams, Chris Mulkey
Rudy Donatello is a flamboyant drag queen, lip-syncing hit tunes at a gay bar in Southern California in 1979 when he meets Paul, a divorced district attorney. What might have been just a one-night stand turns serious when Rudy finds that his drug-addicted neighbor has abandoned her teenage son, Marco, who has Down syndrome. Though he is broke, Rudy decides to take the child under his wing, and he goes to Paul for legal help. The two men secure temporary custody of Marco, moving in together to prove they can supply a stable environment. What started as a flirtation has suddenly become a family: Marco has brought Rudy and Paul together in a way that brings out the heart in both men. They give the boy the kind of parental attention and guidance he’s never had, and he thrives. But, knowing the prejudice they’d be up against, they lied about the true nature of their relationship at the court hearing, and when authorities discover the two men are lovers, Marco is forcibly taken from them. They must mount an unprecedented legal offensive to try to protect Marco from his mother, Family Services, and the world.
Reworking a 30-year-old script by George Arthur Bloom, director Travis Fine (The Space Between) has created a moving, sometimes funny period piece driven by character, not cause. A strong script and a talented cast provide a platform for a standout performance by Alan Cumming as Rudy, including his poignant renditions of songs that speak to the couple’s struggles.
- VAL MOSES
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