The plot summary I always saw said this: "Rudy and Paul take in their neighbor's teenage son Marco, who has Down syndrome, when his neglectful mother throws him out of her apartment." My eyes must have glazed over or something like that because I just discovered that same plot summary ended with: "Their attempt to legally adopt Marco sparks a court battle over gay rights in this powerful true story."
Well, I'm glad I ignored my own ignorance and watched it. Alan Cumming gives an Oscar winning performance as a working-class, East-coast drag queen living in California. I guess Hollywood has gay fatigue or something that he didn't get an Oscar nod. I mean I think George Clooney and Jean DuJardin were good choices but I think Gary Oldman or Brad Pitt should have given way to Alan Cumming in this performance.
The plot summary says it all yet reveals nothing of the narrative or the brilliant acting that make this movie such a great film. The narrative itself is propletic. For many urban gay American cinema watchers, the idea that the various actors in the legal system would conspire together to deprive a non-white Down syndrome child of a loving home simply because it has two daddies is something telescoped into the 1970s and earlier. Yet, this story was based on a legal case that occurred just 5 years ago in the US state of Florida. While West Hollywood jurists may have only done these sorts of things 35 years ago, there are many places in America today where justice is dispensed by the prejudicial whims of bigoted jurists.
I also discovered that Alan Cumming is gay and married to a man and that he took his role in the movie for union wages. Amazing. I'm glad I watched the movie and I hope you will too.