Blast from the past

Let’s Talk About Mark Ruffalo’s Underrated Gem Of A Movie


I gather that you’ve probably heard about this guy. Mark Ruffalo. He’s Bruce Banner, he’s an acclaimed movie star, and he’s a three-time Oscar nominee. He’s one of the most amazing actors that are currently working in Hollywood and I just adore watching him on the silver screen and TV.

Which brings me to my point. Ruffalo is currently starring in HBO’s drama I Know this much is true, and I adore it. It’s heartbreaking dark and soul-crushing series, but he’s amazing in it. Ruffalo plays a dual role there and I can safely say that I predict an Emmy and a Golden Globe for this performance. He’s just that amazing.

But as I watched this TV series, I was reminded of his earliest project that barely anyone talks about. Sure his big break in Hollywood came in the early 2000s with You Can Count On Me.

But there is one underrated gem of a movie in Ruffalo’s career that I feel deserves much more attention. My Life Without Me. I blame the lack of familiarity on the fact that the movie came out in the same year as some of Mark’s better-publicized movies. They got the spotlight (In The Cut, View From The Top) and this little gem got pushed to the side.

I’m talking about My Life without Me. Let me tell you why this is Mark’s underrated and almost forgotten gem. Written and directed by Isabel Coixet, My Life Without Me was a true discovery for me. It’s a movie that I watch to have a good cry. It’s sad and tragic but at the same time filled with warmth and love. Sarah Polley has the lead role in My Life Without Me.

Polley is Ann. A 23-year-old wife and mother to 2 small daughters. She lives in a trailer with her husband and children. She hasn’t seen her father in years (he’s incarcerated) and on top of that, she’ll be diagnosed with inoperable cancer. So, instead of worrying her entire family she’ll opt not to tell anyone, but instead start to make a list f all the thing she likes to do before she dies. One of those things is leaving cassettes for her daughter’s birthdays and the other is to fall in love with someone other than her husband.

That someone is Mark’s Lee character. She will begin a passionate love affair with Lee, and it’s one of the best subplots in this incredible movie. The other great moment is the relationship that Anne has with her oncologist. I’m glad that the oncologist is portrayed more humanely in this movie. Whenever I see a doctor giving bad news to a patient in movies, it’s always mechanical and clinical.

No. This particular doctor has this thing where he can’t look the patients in the eye while he’s delivering the bad news. He opts to look away when he tells her about the impending death, and I loved that. It showed us that even doctors are flawed humans. He would also give her candy at each hospital visit, and it made the horrific experience all the more bearable for her and me to be honest.

This is probably the best Sarah Polley movie and one of Mark’s finest. I’m really bummed out about the lack of familiarity with the audience, especially because there are plenty of great actors and celebrities in it. Scott Speedman plays Ann’s husband, Debbie Harry (yeah, that Debbie Harry) plays her mother, while Alfred Molina plays her incarcerated father. Oh, and the incredible Amanda Plummer is in the movie as a perpetually dieting (and hungry) friend of Ann.

Watch My Life Without Me if you have the chance. It will blow your mind. I was impressed by the fantastic screenplay, terrific performances (especially from Mark and Sarah) and I think you’ll love it as much as I did.


Leave a reply