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My Life Without Me (2003)

  Directed by: Isabel Coixet
Written by: Isabel Coixet, Nanci Kincaid
Starring: Maria de Medeiros, Deborah Harry, Amanda Plummer, Sarah Polley, Mark Ruffalo, Scott Speedman, Leonor Watling
Links: My Life Without Me on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Book
Genre: Drama

This movie gets: 8.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

My Life Without Me (2003) is also mentioned in em_fiction's review of We Don't Live Here Anymore (2004).

"Bit of a tear jerker" - a review by pearly

In My Life Without Me, Sarah Polley plays Ann, a woman who finds out that she has terminal cancer. She decides to keep the news from her husband and two young children, and writes a list of things to do before she dies. And in her last month or so of life, she tries to build a new life: her life without her.

My Life Without Me manages to come across as quite real, and this is due in no small part to the performance given by Polley: this is some of her finest work to date. Polley's character of Ann makes some dubious life (death?) decisions, doing things that are likely to spark discussions about the ethics of dying. However, the film doesn't take much of a focus on the journey of a terminally ill person; Ann seems to try to ignore her fate for most of the movie (mind you, this might be a common coping method, I'm not sure).

The supporting cast do just that, they support Polley through the film, but it is really Polley that is in the forefront, and the scenes in which she is the only person on screen are some of the best. Besides this, Deborah Harry plays Ann's mother, a grumpy old woman who's never satisfied with anything, and Amanda Plummer plays Ann's workmate, a strange woman obsessed with her weight. The two men in Ann's life are her husband (Scott Speedman), who doesn't do anything special, and the man she begins an affair with (Mark Ruffalo). The strangest character of all is played by Maria de Medeiros, who is a hairdresser that Ann visits, and who is obsessed with Milli Vanilli. I don't know what all that was meant to be about.

My Life Without Me is a fairly straight-forward story, told in a straight-forward way. There aren't any real twists and turns, it's just out there for you to take in and process as you want. I chose to process it by having a bit of a cry (okay, a lot).

pearly gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 5 Jul 2004

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