Written and Directed by: Timothy McNeil
Starring: John Carroll Lynch, Matt Bomer, Maura Tierney, Margot Bingham, Micah Hauptman Christopher Thornton and Tanner Buchanan
Run Time: 1h 34min
Genre: Drama, Romance
4 Frames out of 5
By: Shari K. Green
If you’re interested in a narrative that has layers and depth, you need to see ‘Anything,’ a film that represents anyone who has ever loved for any reason and who will give of themselves… anything. It’s a moving piece because we can all relate to the characters and their powerful emotions of love. I say this with certainty as we’ve all, for the most part, experienced a love where we have given and where we have received.
The characters in the film are complex and more intricate then one might think based on the pedestrian one-word title it was saddled with. However, that word, as you can tell based on what I’ve written so far, plays an important role in the overall message of the story.
The main character is Early Landry. He’s a middle-aged widower, played by character actor John Carroll Lynch of ‘Fargo,’ who easily manipulates the audience into seeing this individual as both the prey and the preyed upon. At the moment Early is introduced to us, we’re seeing him through the eyes of his overbearing sister, Laurette (Tierney). He’s depressed, suicidal and since the passing of his wife, needs some love and support, but not as much or the kind Laurette has in mind. Not really giving him much of a choice in the matter, she makes him aware of the fact that she wants him to move in with her so she can help him with his feelings of despair and with settling things from his old life in Mississippi to his new life with her in L.A. Early does move in with her. Though he doesn’t speak up for himself, it’s not hard to tell that he’s quickly growing tired of her. She speaks to him and treats him as if he were a child and it’s not long into his stay that he decides he has to move out and be on his own.
Without informing her, he gets himself a little apartment in an area of town she wouldn’t approve of. This is most likely done to keep her away. In a short time, he meets his transgender neighbor Freda Von Rhenburg (Bomer), who works the streets and often gets into trouble with men and when money gets tight. Being the gentleman that he is, he’s there for her, no matter what she needs and a hot and cold relationship develops. It doesn’t take long for them both to see what’s good about the other and how deeply they need what the other has to offer. Perhaps at first getting to know Freda just might be the right thing to agitate Laurette but if that’s what he had in mind than he was just as surprised by the materialization of their romance as we, the audience, are.
They’re an odd pairing but the performances both actors give to their roles accommodates the concept of their love and what the significance of a man from Mississippi being open-minded enough to accept the love of a man means today. I highly recommend this even though an obvious misstep is not casting a transgendered actress in the role of Freda. Regardless, Bomer is exceptional and deserves to be seen.
Opening in Phoenix at HARKINS VALLEY ART