So, I’ve had a crazy busy and frustrating week and I haven’t had a chance to tell ya my thoughts on this year’s Outfest.… The 30th Anniversary of the biggest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in the country was a great one, and I’m thrilled to report that all of the movies I saw were pretty darn good. I don’t know if I just chose better movies to see or the quality in general was up this year, but it was a good experience…
I saw the quirky Sundance entry My Best Day, the riotous comedy Gayby, the funny coming of age comedy Elliott Loves, and the gorgeously shot super artistic drama Joshua Tree 1951: A Portrait of James Dean. I also went to a hilarious panel and screening of an episode of Happy Endings featuring the creators and cast members Adam Pally (Max), Zachary Knighton (Dave) and frequent guest star the hysterical Stephen Guarino (Derrick). Despite the forum being moderating by a hugely annoying and disrespectful moron reporter from The Hollywood Reporter who spoke like the long-lost gay Kardashian brother, it was an incredibly fun day and the screening of the lost “Kickball” episode was brilliant.
There were two films I wanted to bring special attention to that I saw as well. The first was I Do a wonderful drama about a British immigrant who marries his best female friend to stay in the country but suddenly falls for his perfect man. The story was beautifully written by my friend David W. Ross as it detailed the difficulties that gay couples face when one of them is not a citizen. Hello can we all just get some equal rights??? It also features wonderful performances by Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Alicia Witt, Maurice Compte and Ross himself. Check out the trailer below and watch for the film in more festivals this fall with a pending release as well!
Finally, the best film I saw at Outfest was the amazing and incredibly emotional drama, Any Day Now, featuring an Oscar worthy performance by Tony Award winner and Emmy nominee Alan Cumming. He plays a gay man in 1979 who falls for a lawyer (Raising Hope’s fantastic Garret Dillahaunt) and tries to adopt a teenage boy with down syndrome (heartbreaking newcomer Isaac Leyva) who’s been abandoned by his drug addicted mother (The Killing‘s tremendous Jamie Anne Allman). Their court battles and Marco’s struggles are gut wrenching and beautifully portrayed. This amazing film won the Audience Award for Best Feature and Cumming was awarded Best Actor by the Fetival as well. I highly recommend everyone see Any Day Now on the festival circuit and when it hits theaters across the nation this fall. Take a look at this beautiful film by Travis Fine here, and when you see it in the theatre, get out your handkerchiefs now too cuz I bawled like a baby throughout it! Just a landmark and incredible movie.
Outfest Movie Grade:
Any Day Now: A
I Do: A
Elliott Loves: A-
My Best Day: B+
Joshua Tree 1951: A Portrait of James Dean: B