“Anything”–movie review   Leave a comment

The best, if not most original, line in “Anything” is said by the nephew Jack (Tanner Buchanan) of Early (John Carroll Lynch) when he says, “Love is Love” and that is what this movie is about.

There is the first love of a teenager, Jack, for a girl at school, the love between Early and his sister Laurette (Maura Tierney) and her love for her husband Ted (Christopher Thornton), the love between the drug addicts David (Micah Hauptman) and Brianna (Margot Binham) not to mention what might be the pivotal love story of Freda (Matt Bomer) and Early.

Early has just lost the love of his life, his wife, of 26 years, and is having difficulty dealing with the loss. His sister flies in from Los Angeles to their small hometown in Mississippi where he is an insurance salesman and talks him into coming to California and living with her, her husband and son, which he does. It doesn’t take very long to find out that Laurette is a controlling woman who, though she loves her brother, doesn’t seem to be able to stop herself from trying to control him.

Early has received a good settlement from the insurance when he wife died and he decides to sell his home back in Mississippi and to stay in Los Angeles but not live with his sister and instead gets an apartment in Hollywood much to her disdain because she would rather he live in a better neighborhood. She explains that she is worried about him living there alone but at the same time there is a sort of snobbishness that she has acquired since moving out west.

Early soon meets his next-door neighbor Freda and though they are very different in many ways both are lonely. Early stays in his apartment reading, drinking and reading old letters from his wife while Freda, being a transgender sex worker, having a life of being hurt both emotionally and physically, people leaving her, is not open to deep relationships. He is the soft-spoken quiet Southern gentleman while she is the sassy, wisecracking one who has seen it all. Slowly but surely she is won over by his kindness, the true love he had for his wife and his reaching out to help her while he, at first, while he doesn’t know what to make of this woman who has lead a life he can’t understand but sees her pain.

“Anything” is one of the first films that offer lessons to those who may be uncomfortable with the idea of transgender people or know little about it and there are one too many clichés but as Jack says, “Love is love” and that is what this movie is about.

Without spoiling the scene there is an interlude when Early invites his sister, brother-in-law and nephew over for dinner to meet Freda that is a roller coaster of emotions that offers a dazzling performance by Maura Tierney.

John Carroll Lynch gives a quietly understated performance that works perfectly opposite Matt Bomer who projects being a woman without overdoing it, holding back on the gestures but showing her warmth, delicacy and tenderness but also her strength. They both give stellar performances.

This is the second movie I have seen within a week where the leads have the chemistry that is rare in films and, like “Beast” I fear it will be gone and forgotten before people have a chance to see it as being an independent film it has sort of ‘snuck’ into town but “Anything” should be seen. It is, also, as “Beast” is, the debut of a new director, Timothy McNeil, who wrote the screenplay based on his produced play and he makes a few mistakes as most new film directors do, those ‘art’ shots, but it is an impressive debut.

(An observation: Matt Bomer has the ‘best actor’s eyes’ since Paul Newman!)

 

 

Movie Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4D39IVxzyw

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