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My Life Without Me (2003)


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

Critics Consensus: Sarah Polley keeps this production afloat with her moving performance.

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

Critics Consensus: Sarah Polley keeps this production afloat with her moving performance.


Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 21,303


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 … More

R (for language)
Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
Isabel Coixet , Nanci Kincaid
In Theaters:
Feb 24, 2004
Box Office:
Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for My Life Without Me

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.

Full Review… | September 26, 2005
Washington Post
Top Critic

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

November 28, 2003
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

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
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | November 21, 2003
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

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
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | November 7, 2003
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Polley gives an outstanding performance...

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

A gigantically amoral cliche of a film.

Full Review… | April 1, 2007


Full Review… | December 6, 2005
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.

Full Review… | September 16, 2004
Uruguay Total

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

Full Review… | May 14, 2004
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.

Full Review… | May 10, 2004

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...

Full Review… | March 30, 2004

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.

Full Review… | January 5, 2004
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.

Full Review… | December 5, 2003

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

Full Review… | December 2, 2003

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.

Full Review… | November 14, 2003
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....

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

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

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

Super Reviewer

My Life Without Me Quotes

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 (2 years ago)
If you don't kiss me right now I'm gonna scream. [She screams, he kisses her]
– Submitted by John P (3 years ago)

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