(out of 5)
Sarah Polley plays a university janitor who works late nights while her husband (Scott Speedman) is still looking for a job. Raising her two daughters in a trailer situated in her mother’s backyard, Polley goes to the doctor to enquire about some stomach pains she’s been having and is told that she is dying of cancer and has no chance of surviving it. The doctor gives her two months to live, and she decides to take the opportunity to live her life as best as she can in the remaining time she has left, exploring new aspects of herself while also making sure she leaves her daughters knowing full well that she loves them. As her husband is the only man she’s ever been with, she also decides to have an affair with someone new, and ends up finding a truly loving connection with a surveyor (Mark Ruffalo). This extremely touching and heartfelt film features an incredibly deft performance from Polley, who has never been more sincere, and powerfully honest direction from Isabel Coixet. Produced by Pedro Almodovar, it’s the most curious of cinematic hybrids: all the gritty realism of Canadian filmmaking combined with the emotionally complex textures of Spanish cinema. Leonor Watling appears in a beautiful supporting role, plus there are appearances by Maria de Medeiros as a hairdresser who is also a hilariously obsessed Milli Vanilli fan, and a standout Deborah Harry as our tragic heroine’s mother, giving one of her best film performances in many years.
El Deseo, Milestone Entertainment, Antena 3 Television, Vía Digital, Alliance Atlantis Communications, Province of British Columbia Film Incentive BC, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, Cavco Worldmark, The Movie Network, Astral Media, Super Ecran, Movie Central, Corus, Miss Wasabi, My Life Productions Inc.
Directed by Isabel Coixet
Cinematography by Jean-Claude Larrieu
Music by Alfonso de Vilallonga
Production Design by Carol Lavallee
Costume Design by Katia Stano
Film Editing by Lisa Robison