Ann, 23 years old, lives a modest life with her two kids and her husband in a trailer in her mother's garden. Her life takes a dramatic turn, when her doctor tells her that she has uterine cancer and only two months to live. She compiles a list of things to do before she dies. Written by
Moritz Muehlenhoff <email@example.com>
Something very positive happens in Hollywood and Indy films lately. Strong female roles ceased to be rare roles that are usually portrayed by Jodie Foster. More and more, lately, there is an abundance of strong female characters and more importantly, many actresses who can do these roles the justice they (both roles and actresses) deserve. Today there is a tremendous buzz over Scarlet Johansson (assuming she didn't waste it all on "The perfect score" which hadn't been released in Israel, yet). But Scarlet is not the only member on the ever growing list of actresses in their 20's with the maturity I'll probably never have (and I'm entering to my 30's), other actresses that pop into mind are Piper perabo (Lost and delirious), Maggie Gylenhaal (Secretary, Mona lisa smile) and Thora Birch (American beauty, Ghost world) to name just a few.
In this film a "new" actress named Sarah Polley (she has the filmography many veteran actresses wish to have) emerges successfully from the pernicious world of child acting into a mature woman for her age which is, coincidentally the basic premise of the character she portrays.
Ann is a 23 year old mother who is notified that because of a malignant tumour, her death is near. Ann decides, after her initial shock (maybe the best scene in the film) to accomplish a couple of assignments before passing away, one of which is to conceal the fact of her illness from her family in the rationalization of sparing them the endless hours of waiting in hospital friendly corridors and consuming hospital gourmet food. Ann spends the last two months of her life patching things with her long incarcerated father, develop a romantic fling with a pensive heart broken guy (Mark Ruffalo) and looks for an agreeable sucssessor mother to her family, among other things. This film has the idea and the cast to make it one of the best films 2003 had to offer but somewhere along the line, the emotional charge that this plot encompasses never comes to full exploitation and i found myself wondering if the movie's writer/director Isabel Coixet (i have no idea how to pronounce this name), in her attempt to make the movie optimistic and not just outright depressing, wrongfully decided to avoid emotional obstacles in her script and her direction. Another detail that bothers me in the film is what I refer to as the "Hollywooditis decease". This decease is a terminal one, but those who get it look absolutely great until the very last day of their lives. I don't pretend to be a doctor but it seems to me that a person with terminal cancer can't explain his/her fatigue simply by Anemia, Ann's cover story.
But I dwell on the negative and in films its usually a dumn thing to do. The right thing to do is to make the overall judgement, the film is undoubtly good, Polley's performance is excellent and Debby Harry (Blondie's lead singer) is surprisingly good, but the movie leaves the viewer with the feeling it had the potential of being a masterpiece, which it isn't.
8.5 out of 10 in my FilmOmeter
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