A young woman conceals the fact of her terminal cancer to live her life with a passion she never had before.A young woman conceals the fact of her terminal cancer to live her life with a passion she never had before.A young woman conceals the fact of her terminal cancer to live her life with a passion she never had before.
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
- eyal philippsborn
- Feb 14, 2004