IMDb > My Life Without Me (2003)
My Life Without Me
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My Life Without Me (2003) More at IMDbPro »

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My Life Without Me -- A young woman conceals the fact of her terminal cancer to live her life with a passion she never had before.


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Up 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Isabel Coixet (writer)
Nanci Kincaid (book)
View company contact information for My Life Without Me on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 March 2003 (Spain) See more »
A young woman conceals the fact of her terminal cancer to live her life with a passion she never had before. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
16 wins & 15 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Death Becomes Her See more (134 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Sarah Polley ... Ann

Amanda Plummer ... Laurie

Scott Speedman ... Don

Leonor Watling ... Ann, the Neighbor

Deborah Harry ... Ann's Mother

Maria de Medeiros ... The Hairdresser

Mark Ruffalo ... Lee

Julian Richings ... Dr. Thompson
Kenya Jo Kennedy ... Patsy

Jessica Amlee ... Penny
Esther García
Camille Martinez (as Camille Martínez)
María Cami
Deanne Henry ... Waitress

Gillian Barber ... Nurse #1
Errin Clutton
Jerry Thompson
Morgan Brayton ... Nurse #2
Sam Barnett
Lauren Diewold ... Nurse #2 - Young
Neezor Elerezeli
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Sonja Bennett ... Sarah (uncredited)

Tyron Leitso ... Guy in Bar (uncredited)

Alfred Molina ... Ann's Father (uncredited)

Directed by
Isabel Coixet 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Isabel Coixet  writer
Nanci Kincaid  book "Pretending the Bed is a Raft"

Produced by
Agustín Almodóvar .... executive producer
Pedro Almodóvar .... executive producer
Esther García .... producer
Ogden Gavanski .... executive producer
Gordon McLennan .... producer
Michel Ruben .... associate producer
Jordi Torrent .... line producer
Original Music by
Alfonso de Vilallonga 
Cinematography by
Jean-Claude Larrieu 
Film Editing by
Lisa Robison 
Casting by
Heidi Levitt 
Monika Mikkelsen 
Production Design by
Carol Lavallee 
Art Direction by
Shelley Bolton 
Set Decoration by
Shelley Bolton 
Costume Design by
Katia Stano 
Makeup Department
Melanie Burke .... hair stylist
Diana Davison .... key makeup artist
Maria Gleeson .... makeup swing
Production Management
Dan Schlanger .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gurjit Chohan .... third assistant director
Debra Herst .... second assistant director
Sandra Mayo .... first assistant director
Art Department
Paul Brown .... assistant set decorator
Tim Higgins .... set dresser
Rubén Rivas .... graphic designer
Craig Stokes .... property master
Amy Wilding .... on-set dresser
Sound Department
Biel Cabré .... assistant sound editor
Manuel Corrales .... foley artist
Matthew Davies .... ADR recording and edit
Viorel Ghiocel .... boom operator
Patrick Ghislain .... sound re-recording mixer
Albert Manera .... sound editor
Albert Manera .... sound supervisor
Iván Mayoral .... assistant sound re-recording mixer
Albert Nieto .... assistant sound editor
Fabiola Ordoyo .... sound editor
Sebastian Salm .... sound
Ricardo Viñas .... dolby sound consultant
Special Effects by
Bill Mills .... special effects coordinator
Visual Effects by
Pedro Martínez .... digital effects artist
José Rossi .... digital effects artist: titles
Pablo Urrutia .... digital effects artist
Camera and Electrical Department
Bob Akester .... still photographer
Jim Bach .... video playback operator
Trevor Berry .... best boy grip
Natasha Braier .... director of photography: second unit (as Natasha Brier)
Isabel Coixet .... camera operator
Pascal Pillot-Bruhat .... gaffer
Thomas Ryan Pilon .... key grip
Richard Porta .... second assistant camera
Adrienne Richards .... camera loader
Jeff Seeger .... lamp operator
Randy Swanson .... grip
Casting Department
Heike Brandstatter .... casting: Canada
L.A. Hilts .... extras casting (as Lesleyanne Hilts)
Coreen Mayrs .... casting: Canada
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Judith Feller .... truck costumer
Marie Hock .... costumer
Patti Rempel .... assistant costume designer
Roza Savvas .... set costume supervisor
Editorial Department
Irene Blecua .... assistant editor: Spain
Ascen Marchena .... post-production assistant
Kristian Olsen .... assistant editor
Music Department
Ricky Arailza .... musician: acoustic guitar
Emili Brugalla .... musician: piano
Miguel Ángel Cordero .... musician: double bass
Lucio Godoy .... music producer
Farran James .... musician: violin
Olvido Lanza .... musician: violin
Manuel Martínez del Fresno .... musician: cello
Chop Suey .... composer: song "Humans Like You"
Montse Valle .... musician: viola
Transportation Department
Frank Guadagno .... driver: cast
Ben Liljedahl .... transportation captain
Rico Rogers .... transportation coordinator
Other crew
Barbara Chisholm .... assistant production coordinator
Adela Donamaría .... production secretary
Ashley Fester .... production assistant
Covadonga R. Gamboa .... production coordinator: Spain
Lola García .... office manager
Jaye Gazeley .... assistant location manager
Beatriz Gordo .... assistant production accountant: Spain
Russ Hamilton .... location manager (as Russ 'Moviegod' Hamilton)
John Knowlton .... production assistant
Jane McKernan .... production accountant
Peter Munro .... location scout
David Rockwell .... production accountant
Ana Sanz .... secretary to producer
Paz Sufrategui .... unit publicist
Denise Szabo .... craft service
Denise Szabo .... first aid
Abigail Tucker .... production coordinator
Óscar Valero .... production accountant: Spain
Anne Worrall .... script supervisor

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for language
106 min | Argentina:107 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Factual errors: Ann and Don claim they met at Nirvana's last concert. They live in Canada. Nirvana's last show was in Munich, Germany.See more »
Lee:My body hurt thinking you weren't gonna come.
Ann:I wasn't gonna come.
Lee:Well, I'm glad you did.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Sometime LaterSee more »


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54 out of 57 people found the following review useful.
Death Becomes Her, 19 October 2003
Author: noralee from Queens, NY

"My Life Without Me" shows off Sarah Polley's beauty and acting that has been clear to her fans since her "Avonlea" days.

In writer/director Isabel Coixet's first English language feature, Polley takes what could have been a drippy, maudlin story of a dying young mother and turns it into a clear-eyed path to accepting early death and taking charge of the hand that's dealt you. This delicate view is in sharp contrast to Hollywood tripe like "Sweet November" where beautiful healthy women in denial die of Movie Star Disease.

When Polley's "Ann" gets her death sentence from a doctor who can't even look her in the eyes, she resolves, among other items on her "To Do Before I Die" list, to tell it like it is -- but finds that instead everyone around her spills out their inner-most problems and she doesn't get to, including an amusing effort to get a Milli Vanilli-loving hairdresser to cut her hair like she wants it. Perhaps it's because she chooses to lie to them about her imminent demise. Not only does Polley get to use her full-fledged Canadian accent complete with "Eh"s, but until I read it on her imdb bio I didn't know that when she was 11 Polley lost her mother to cancer, so she must have had personal experience to draw on.

The imdb credits do not include that the script is based on a short story by Nanci Kincaid, "Pretending the Bed is a Raft," with additional inspiration from a poem about a young women's death by John Berger, who is thanked prominently in the credits. The symbolism of Ann having met her husband at the last Nirvana concert is also played upon several times.

The music selections are lovely, both the romantic-sounding European ballads from one character's sister's DJ mix tape and the original music by Alfonso Vilallonga, that are poignant and keep out the schmaltz.

Polley's supporting actors are wonderful, from the lively children to Amanda Plummer, who has been MIA from films for a while, and Debbie Harry as the depressed mother.

There's a couple of resonances of the TV show "Felicity" as not only does "Ann" leave voiced-over audio tapes to her loved ones, but, yikes, even dying, "Ann" gets both gorgeous sensitive hunks Scott Speadmen and Mark Ruffalo to love her. It's effectively shown, though, that one was the love of an adolescence that ended too soon with parental responsibilities and the other of her too-short adulthood.

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