"Dealing with the circumstances rather than harping on them."
A very young mother (Sarah Polley) of two daughters finds out she’s going to die shortly from terminal cancer.Rather than tell her children and husband or mother, for fear of how it will change their daily life, she decides to keep it secret and write a list of things to do before she dies. (Record birthday messages for each year, until her daughters turn 18, smoke and drink, sleep with another man, etc.) For the most part, director Isabel Coixet avoids dipping into schmaltzy territory by not harping on the grimness of the character’s reality. (I don’t even think the word cancer was once used.) Death is ever-present in the scheme of things happening within the movie, but the examination is far more concerned with how this character chooses to deal with what’s she’s been dealt under those circumstances. Forgettable as it all may be, the strength of the movie remains on the capable shoulders of Polley, which while it isn’t one of her best performances, she’s very good, and even maintains credibility in generic tactics like the explanatory voiceover. However, no matter at what point you’re born in December, you can never be an Aquarius. With Scott Speedman, Deborah Harry, Mark Ruffalo, Julian Richings, Amanda Plummer, and Alfred Molina.[Worth-seeing.]
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Vancouver Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Vancouver Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Chicago Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Chicago Film Festival series, click here.