my life without me

Canada‚Äôs most unaffected and astonishing actor, writer, and director, Sarah Polley, plays a 23-year-old mother diagnosed with terminal cancer and two months to live. Realizing she is so young and done so little, she decides to die on her own terms: she keeps her illness a secret, writes a list of things to do before she dies. Included are taking a lover (the intensely sweet Mark Ruffalo); recording birthdays messages for her daughter until they are 18, and finding a future wife for her husband. Sound sappy? It should be but Polley plays it so honestly, any unavoidable weeping is simply a testament to a refreshingly unadorned and true performance. Warning: Many people found this movie manipulative, and the mother’s decision to keep her cancer a secret egocentric, but I dare anyone to walk away untouched. [canada, spain 2003]

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