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Even though this movie focuses on a terminally ill, impoverished 23-year-old working mom (Sarah Polley), it's more about life than death--and strangely uplifting. When Polley learns she has two months to live, she coolly decides to make the most of her remaining time. She speaks her mind, secures the future welfare of her husband (Scott Speedman) and two young girls and even has an affair with brooding writer (Mark Ruffalo).
Directed with classy restraint by Isabel Coixet, Life constantly rises above the mundane, mainly because there's so much that's incredibly touching and believable about Polley's character. So, even when she leaves tape-recorded messages to her family, they come off as poignant rather than sappy. Nobody wants to look death in the eye, but this woman's unblinking approach should serve as inspiration to us all.