Ever feel your life's been a dream and you're only just waking up? Sarah Polley (GO, eXistenZ) stars as Ann, a young wife and mother who's recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness. After vowing to keep her terrible news a secret, Ann begins living with an intensity she never thought possible. With senses heightened and passions rekindled, she quickly begins putting her life in order: taping love letters to her husband Don ("Felicity"'s Scott Speedman) and birthday greetings to her two small girls, making peace with her parents; and seeking solace in the arms of a handsome but lonely stranger (Mark Ruffalo, You Can Count on Me). Gripping, joyful and sensitive, MY LIFE WITHOUT MEis a touching tale for today that challenges us to live as if there were no tomorrow.
It sounds like Love Story
, but with an intriguing twist. 23-year-old wife and mom Sarah Polley has spent her entire life sacrificing for others and living on the economic fringe; when she discovers she has only a few months to live, she resolves to keep the news secret. In her remaining time, she plots a course for various unfinished plans and deferred dreams: write a journal, leave future messages for her kids, make a stranger (Mark Ruffalo) fall in love with her. Obviously, the danger of sentimentality lurks in director Isabel Coixet's concept, and the film does have a few soggy moments. Some critics lost patience with the main character's seeming selfishness (a good post-movie conversation starter). Yet there is something powerful in her insistence on claiming a small piece of existence exclusively for herself. Polley (Guinevere
) gives a typically honest performance, with fine support by Scott Speedman and Deborah Harry. --Robert Horton