The sudden unexpected passage a person travels to death from life delivers a debilitating punch to those who remain behind. In that moment of stunned disbelief, memories pour down from your mind trying to fill the space emerging where the walls of your heart are crumbling into brittle chunks. There was no way you could have prepared yourself since the signs of dying never emerged from the individual. It is different when someone has been suffering from an affliction. You see the person morphing right in front of you into a stranger that bears little resemblance to who has been residing in your thoughts for all these years. In society we are led to believe the older generation is supposed to go first, followed by the next; it is the natural order of things we are told. I have experienced both kinds of death and though neither are easy, after seeing the one who had suffered a long time, I felt a sense of relief when they were done. If I were given the choice of knowing or not knowing when I was going to die, I honestly do not know if I could choose. SADLY that was not the case for young mother Ann, played by Sarah Polley (Dawn of the Dead, Splice). After being told she only had a short time left to live, that jolt of information was what she needed to finally live her life. This film festival winning drama had an eclectic group of actors to help keep the story from turning into a melodrama. Musical artist Deborah Harry (Elegy, A Good Night to Die) played Ann’s mother, Scott Speedman (Underworld franchise, The Vow) played Don, Amanda Plummer (Pulp Fiction, Girlfriend) played Laurie and Mark Ruffalo (Begin Again, The Avengers) played Lee. Out of this cast I have to say Sarah and Mark were the best with their roles. It was interesting to me how the entire film had a general look of resignation due to the locale, the jobs and people’ attitudes; yet, there were strong connections made between the characters. Obviously Sarah was the focal point to the story, but her strong sense of practical resolve and determination helped to keep the story engaging. There were a few scenes that felt out of place to me, a couple of which were to the point of being non-believable. I know for myself this picture had an affect on me regarding my avoidance in thinking about the course of my life; it would be pretty hard not to think about it. Not that this was a bad thing, I felt this movie showed a true and honest way in dealing with one’s own mortality.
3 stars — DVD