"Any Day Now" is one of those films that's been creeping steadily along the festival circuit since the spring, quietly amassing critical goodwill and prizes. The Tribeca, Chicago, Seattle, Woodstock and Outfest festivals may not command much attention individually, but when a film manages to walk away with the Audience Award from all of them, it clearly has something going on.

Though I'd repeatedly heard the title on the fringes of various festival reports, I hadn't really clocked to what it is or what it's about -- not having had an opportunity to see it on my side of the pond -- until the film's newly released trailer landed in my inbox.

On paper, at least, it's not a wildly appealing proposition: though TV's "The Good Wife" has recently given Alan Cumming something to chew on, the British actor's film career has lately been limited to campy garnishing of "Burlesque" and lesser fare. Meanwhile, the true story of a gay couple fighting the system for the right to adopt a Down's Syndrome teenager is a tricky proposition: potentially powerful, but desperately vulnerable to Lifetime-for-liberals mush if the tone isn't precisely judged. And the required tone isn't something automatically suggested by Cumming's presence.

Based on the festival buzz and the endorsements of some trusted colleagues, however, I gave the trailer a whirl -- and while I assume the marketing has ratcheted up the pathos and the mournful piano, it looks like there's something honest and affecting there. Cummings looks committed and dialed-down, but based on this glimpse, I'm as interested in the performance of his unlikely screen partner, Garret Dillahunt.

Music Box Films is releasing the film in New York and LA on 14 December, and appears to be concentrating its awards push around Cumming's performance -- it's likely to slip below Academy voters' radar, but perhaps there's an Indie Spirit nod or some equivalent reward in it for them. The Oscar race isn't only about the finish line.

Music Box, incidentally, are also behind the gay-themed festival success "Keep the Lights On," as well as "The Deep Blue Sea," with its Best Actress-worthy performance by Rachel Weisz. There's an awards cause I wish would gather momentum, though the company's best bet for an Oscar nod this year is "Lore," the superb Australian-German WWII drama, in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

Have any of you seen "Any Day Now?" Is it something we should be looking out for -- for our own benefit, if not for the awards race?