My Life Without Me In My Life Without Me , Sarah Polley plays Ann, a 23-year-old nighttime janitor, married with two little girls, who learns as the story begins… My Life Without Me In My Life Without Me , Sarah Polley plays Ann, a 23-year-old nighttime janitor, married with two little girls, who learns as the story begins… 2003-09-26 R PT102M Drama Sarah Polley Mark Ruffalo Deborah Harry Alfred Molina Amanda Plummer Julian Richings Scott Speedman Leonor Watling Sony Pictures Classics
Movie Review

My Life Without Me (2003)

MPAA Rating: R
My Life Without Me | DEATH DOESN'T BECOME HER Cancer-stricken mother Polley (left, with Ruffalo) forgets to tie up some very important loose ends
DEATH DOESN'T BECOME HER Cancer-stricken mother Polley (left, with Ruffalo) forgets to tie up some very important loose ends
EW's GRADE
B-

Details Limited Release: Sep 26, 2003; Rated: R; Length: 102 Minutes; Genre: Drama; With: Sarah Polley and Mark Ruffalo; Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

In My Life Without Me, Sarah Polley plays Ann, a 23-year-old nighttime janitor, married with two little girls, who learns as the story begins that she has inoperable cancer. Her life has always been hemmed in -- she lives in a trailer home with her laborer husband (Scott Speedman) next door to her mother (Deborah Harry), and her father (Alfred Molina) is in jail. And so, given two months to live, Ann makes a liberating to-do list that includes taking a lover (Mark Ruffalo as a sad-sack swain) and scouting a suitable second wife for her husband.

The list doesn't include, however, giving her family the comfort of emotional readiness by telling them she's dying: Death be not prouder nor more movie coy. Spanish writer-director Isabel Coixet's work combines an indie aesthetic and a Hollywood heart. Polley's performance is characteristically honest, and the camera work produces pretty impressionistic collages. But the fact remains that this hankie-yanker is an emotional cheat.

Originally posted Sep 24, 2003 Published in issue #731 Oct 03, 2003 Order article reprints