My Life Without Me Film Details
Overview: A young woman conceals the fact of her terminal cancer to live her life with a passion she never had before.
Review: “My Life Without Me” stars Sarah Polley as Ann, a twenty-three year old young lady from Vancouver, British Columbia whose married and has two young daughters named Patsy (Kenya Jo Kennedy) and Penny (Jessica Amlee). She’s married to a contractor husband named Don (Scott Speedman) and they reside in a trailer out in the back of her mother’s (Deborah Harry) yard. After noticing physical changes to her body and weight, her introverted, but kind-hearted doctor Dr. Thompson (Julian Richings) that she has aggressive ovarian cancer and that she may only have about two to three months left to live. Feeling to keep this situation to herself without anyone knowing about it or getting the proper treatment she needs to at least stall the illness from getting worse, she instead writes up a bucket list of things she wishes to achieve before she succumbs to an eternal bliss. She programs a life-plan for her children and leaves numerous recording of birthday wishes until they’re eighteenth birthday. Her list leads up to a visit from her incarcerated father (Alfred Molina) and has a relationship with another man (Mark Ruffalo). Written and directed by Isabel Coixet, this film is based on a short story “Pretending the Bed is a Raft” by Nanci Kincaid, Ann is a strong, proud woman who wants no sympathy from anyone, keeping her disease low-profiled and just wants to continue living the life she had before the bad news erupted almost like it never happened. But the emotional level will manifest with you the entire film which makes watching this film a little painful to endure. Coixet refrains from making this film fall into the deep streams of melancholy integrity no matter how sad this movie really is and does everything in her power to keep us from reaching into our tissue box to dry our eyes. Sure we feel the pity for Ann, but we also praise her for the decisions she makes though it can be quite foolish at times. But she manipulates her audience into not to feel overtly sad when her death draws near, while not encouraging every decision she has planned out for her. In a way “My Life Without Me’ can be like a coming-of- age film about a woman finally given the things she always wanted to do, but never had a chance in her youth. She got pregnant when she was in her mid-teens, her husband was the first man she ever kissed. His job seems at times on and off and money is very tight while Ann is a janitor at a local college. She never had the opportunity to experience youth because these chains of events held her back and she has missed out on a lot. Her bucket list seems at times quite logical; like recording birthday messages to her daughters until they reach the age of 18, she believes her neighbour (Lenore Watling) would make a great wife for Don, she pays a visit to her incarcerated father one last time, she also wants her hair and nails fixed and even goes as far as to take up drinking and smoking. She also wants to experiment adultery by sleeping with another man behind her family’s back which is quite absurd. The man’s name is Lee (Mark Ruffalo) who she sees very often privately and never once reveals that she is dying. There are many scenarios that seem to to at times lack in a harmonious fashion. Sure there are some quirky characters that contribute to the much needed comic relief from this rather sentimental story. Others are really of no special purpose. Amanda Plummer plays Laurie’s friend and co-worker who has a fixation about her weight and dieting and Portuguese actress Maria De Medieros was wonderful as The Hairdresser who seems to be attracted to Milli Vanilli (I wonder why?). Sure Ann’s motives are inspirational but can at times be self-serving too. Coixet can’t seem to parallel these two configurations though Sarah Polley was very convincing in her performance. Her curiosity to find youth was uplifting, but as always it’s family comes first.
Country: Spain, Canada
Duration: 106 min
Genre: Drama, Romance
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