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My Life Without Me (2003)



Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 99
Fresh: 64 | Rotten: 35

Sarah Polley keeps this production afloat with her moving performance.


Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critic Reviews: 34
Fresh: 20 | Rotten: 14

Sarah Polley keeps this production afloat with her moving performance.



liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 21,296

My Rating

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


Drama, Romance

Isabel Coixet, Nanci Kincaid

Feb 24, 2004


Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (105) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (64) | Rotten (35) | DVD (10)

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.

September 26, 2005 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

November 28, 2003 | Comment (1)
Arizona Republic
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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.

November 21, 2003
Detroit News
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A good example of how Polley elevates nearly everything in which she appears.

November 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
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Polley's performance is pitch-perfect, and that the world described herein -- glazed with humor as well as melancholy -- is devoid of phony sentiment.

November 20, 2003
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Depressingly unmoving, thanks to unaffecting performances and a story that holds no surprises.

November 7, 2003 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
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Polley gives an outstanding performance...

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

A gigantically amoral cliche of a film.

April 1, 2007 Full Review Source:


December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

(...) Una de las películas más hermosas que se hayan filmado sobre eso tan extraño y tan temido que es el tiempo que queda antes de morir.

September 16, 2004 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

A grande força (do filme) reside na poderosa performance da jovem Sarah Polley.

May 14, 2004 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

Watching My Life Without Me is enervating. Coixet is so determined not to indulge the story's potential for sentiment that she overcompensates on the dreariness.

May 10, 2004 Full Review Source:

This is a film for people who like to cry, and there's a contrived element that's inherent to the beautiful-death genre. Still, Polley is the film's saving grace...

March 30, 2004 Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

Plagued by phony poetic moments and self-conscious quirkiness (Maria de Medeiros appears as a braid-wearing hair stylist obsessed with Milli Vanilli...)

January 19, 2004
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

A shameless, rather dull disease-of- the-week weeper.

January 5, 2004 Full Review
Sacramento News & Review

Gets that messy emotional juncture between bruised torment and naked despair just right

December 31, 2003
Long Island Press

It takes considerable sleight of hand, and a certain temerity, to fashion an uplifting tale about death. Yet My Life Without Me pulls it off.

December 11, 2003
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

My Life Without Me thematizes the perennial problem of identifying with characters.

December 5, 2003 Full Review Source: PopMatters

a warm, melting analysis of life through the cold eye of death.

December 2, 2003 Full Review Source: RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)

It's not likely the viewer will get much from these experiences, either, altough the movie does have an ear for the mordantly funny line.

November 21, 2003
Philadelphia Daily News

Ann's melodramatic take on death is, in the end, selfish and cruel to those she loves.

November 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

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....
December 20, 2011

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.
May 26, 2009

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."
January 19, 2009

Super Reviewer

Movies Like My Life Without Me

    1. Lee: Lee: When you look at someone,really look at them, you might see fifty percent of who they really are. And wanting to know the rest-that's what destroys everything.
    – Submitted by Frances H (24 months ago)
    1. Ann: If you don't kiss me right now I'm gonna scream. [She screams, he kisses her]
    – Submitted by John P (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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Foreign Titles

  • Mein Leben ohne mich (DE)
  • Ma vie sans moi (FR)
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