ANYTHING (2018)


 Greetings again from the darkness. If you’ve always wanted to see a movie about “Andy Griffith’s sad brother”, this is the one for you. That’s actually the description one of the characters has for Early, the depressed widower we come to know. Houston-born writer/director Timothy McNeil’s first feature film is adapted from his own stage production. It’s surprisingly intimate and emotional while avoiding many of the clichés we might be braced for, given the subject matter.

John Carroll Lynch (FARGO, ZODIAC) plays Early as a soft-spoken, mild-mannered gentleman from Mississippi. In the immediate aftermath of the tragic death of his wife, Early is dazed. He is sleep-walking through life right up to the point of an attempted suicide. Faced with the choice of a psychiatric hospital or moving cross country to live with family, Early obviously chooses the Brentwood home of his studio executive sister Laurette (Maura Tierney).

Sister Laurette means well, but her controlling persona and determination to “fix” things, leads Early to find his own place. He picks a sketchy apartment complex with ‘eclectic’ neighbors, one of which is Freda (Matt Bomer), a transgender sex worker. Though they appear to be from different planets, she is drawn to his inherent kindness and strength of character, while he is drawn to her vitality and courage. A bond develops.

It’s fascinating to watch the friendship grow, and despite another neighbor, Brianna, (Margot Bingham) calling him “cracker” and do-gooder, it’s clear there is mutual respect amongst the complex residents. When Early invites his family to a dinner party with Freda, awkward and cruel are merely the first adjectives that come to mind. It doesn’t go well, and harsh judgments abound.

Early is a simple man, but Mr. Lynch’s performance ensures he is never a simple character. Mr. Bomer is terrific as Freda, though some will surely protest that a transgender actor was not cast. Plenty of sharp humor accompanies the deep drama, and we are reminded that love is really about the acceptance of others, and finding meaning and connection in life. It’s a small scale film that draws us into the characters, and we find ourselves grasping at hope for each of them.

watch the trailer:

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3 Responses to ANYTHING (2018)

  1. W Krischke says:

    Great review! I’m a big fan of Maura Tierney and will watch just about anything she’s in. It’s also good to see John Carroll Lynch, one of our best character actors, getting leading work, even if it’s a small production.

    I’d love to re-blog your review on my site, if that’s okay with you. I will schedule it to post on Saturday, May 18.

    Keep up the good work!

    • One of my first thoughts after it ended was wishing Ms. Tierney’s role had been a bit larger. She is terrific in the dinner party scene. Thanks for the note and feel free to re-post. Kind regards

  2. […] I’m re-blogging well-written reviews from around the WordPress world.  Here’s one from David Ferguson, writing at Movie Reviews from the Dark. […]

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