My Life Without Me


My Life Without Me

Critics Consensus

Sarah Polley keeps this production afloat with her moving performance.



Reviews Counted: 100

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 21,478


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 4/5

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Movie Info

Ann is 23-years-old, she has 2 young daughters, a husband who spends more time unemployed than working, a mother who hates the world, a father who has spent the last ten years in jail, and a job as a night janitor in a university that she could never attend in the daytime. They all live in a trailer, on the yard of her mother's house, in the outskirts of Vancouver. However, this gray existence changes completely when, after a medical check-up, a doctor tells Ann that she has very little time left on this earth. Learning that she has hardly two months to live, Ann decides to keep her condition a secret, and refuses to tell anybody--not even her husband--about her time remaining. She does not want people around her with long faces, and obsessed with her approaching death. Ann starts to make a list of things to do before dying, which she completes little by little. The list targets a wide range of things to which she must attend, including carrying out tasks like: saying exactly what she thinks to certain people; as well as getting herself some fake fingernails. Unexpectedly, Ann discovers an appetite for life that drives her to live her last days with a sensual and furious intensity she had not known before. During this short time, she prepares her daughters for a life without her; she meets a solitary wounded man, whom she seduces; and most importantly, Ann faces what remains of her life with a certain steadfast courage she never knew she possessed.


Critic Reviews for My Life Without Me

All Critics (100) | Top Critics (34)

My Life Without Me is not a gentle film. Insistent and unforgettable, it wounds on the inside, and the scars feel fresh for some time.

Sep 26, 2005 | Full Review…

Coixet doesn't make her lead character compelling, or likable.

Nov 28, 2003 | Rating: 2/5

My Life Without Me only has one way to go, and it makes some dippy turns getting there. But Polley makes the trip worth it.

Nov 21, 2003 | Rating: B-
Detroit News
Top Critic

A good example of how Polley elevates nearly everything in which she appears.

Nov 21, 2003 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Polley's performance is pitch-perfect, and that the world described herein -- glazed with humor as well as melancholy -- is devoid of phony sentiment.

Nov 20, 2003 | Rating: 3/4

Depressingly unmoving, thanks to unaffecting performances and a story that holds no surprises.

Nov 7, 2003 | Rating: 2/4

Audience Reviews for My Life Without Me

Well done, without being too grim. Slow moving, yet interesting to watch. Just nicely put together enough to tug on the heartstrings. I thought that the ending was very nicely done. No death scene...just images of what was left behind. Nice....

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


You know what to expect when we have a terminally ill female lead. Thankfully, this did'nt turn out to be the usual tear-jerking melodrama. Emotions were decently real and was well acted throughout.

Sajin P A
Sajin P A

Super Reviewer


Despite being a great film for many reasons, My Life Without Me is one of those films that fails to connect. I don't mind a film being very different, but there still has to be an emotional anchor point. Here we find out that our heroine is dying, a fact she decides to keep from her family. This could work, after all it is kind of sweet sparing them from the pain. It worked in Ikiru, but that was a lonely man not looked fondly upon. He decides to make a good change for others, without any form of reward. In this film, Polley makes selfish decisions to quench her curiosity. Therefor, the best thing she can think of to stick on her "to do list" is "to do" another guy. It's actions like this that distance this film. That aside the acting, music and pacing is all fine. But what's the point if it fails to make you care or feel.

Luke Baldock
Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

Sarah Polley is one of the most underrated and talented actresses working today, managing to achieve a depth of emotion unheard of in today's pathos-strapped showbiz society. This is painted with a much, much different brush than typical disease-of-the-week movies. Even though Ann has the temperament of a saint Polley fleshes her, humanizes her. There are silences but they never lag. The close-ups are meaningful and the camerawork feels earnest, like it's only there to tell the story and nothing else. It's a soft-spoken work with no huge aspirations, and that's why it works. It's also really quotable. "This is you. Eyes closed, out in the rain."

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

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