|B R I E F S Y N O P S I S|
|Ann (Sarah Polley) is 23, a mother of two, and lives in a trailer with her unemployed husband (Scott Speedman). Her life changes completely upon learning she has cancer and only two months to live. Keeping her condition a secret even from her husband, Ann makes preparations for her family's life without her. When Ann meets and seduces a charismatic loner (Mark Ruffalo), she discovers a desire to live her last days with a passionate intensity she has never known. Also stars Debbie Harry and Alfred Molina. Written and directed by Isabel Coixet.|
|One of Those Days•|
Vancouver: 6:00 a.m. You've been awake since 3:00. You've read three stories by Richard Ford, seen two infomercials (one about a Pilates course on video, another about a revolutionary system which allows you to make your own dog food), you've drunk carrot juice, diet coke and hot chocolate, you've written three emails which you've lost and you've spent twenty minutes trying to find them. When the phone rings and you hear the cheerful voice of Alex, the hotel’s Jamaican receptionist, you have the energy of a marmot going into hibernation. Today is one of Those Days. Those days when you ask yourself what the hell you're doing twenty thousand kilometers from Barcelona, making a film about a girl-with-an-incurable-disease. Those days when a photo of Truffaut glimpsed in a book makes you feel inevitably useless. Those days when the courage that led you to write a script in English, convince Pedro Almodóvar to produce it in Canada and drag a load of people along with you has abandoned you completely. Those days when you think that cinema should have been forbidden after Eisenstein made Battleship Potemkin. Those days when you recall with nostalgia your mother telling you about the advantages of studying dentistry. You don't even put on any music in the van taking you to the shoot. The journey feels too short. You would stay in the van for ever, playing with the buttons of the radio, listening to Beth Gibbons, to Beth Orton, to all the Beths in the world without stopping. No, today you don't want to go to school. Nor tomorrow.
The noise of the trucks being un-loaded, the smell of the burritos, the ceremony of handing out the walkie-talkies, everything that always fas-cinates you, all the daily preparatory rituals that you've always enjoyed fill you with terror today. You want to shout, "It was all a joke, go home, this is senseless." You don't shout, but you take two espressos without blinking. And on top of that the sun is shining. And in today's sequence, it says that it's raining and there's a slight mist. It's one of the most difficult scenes in the whole film, a scene which will either move you or make you want to throw up. Never, in the hundreds of times you have imagined it, have you imagined it with sun. Never. Every time you've come to do location work at this little dike it's been raining and there was mist. Well, fuck you, today the sun is shining, blazing in what seems to be an Ibizan sky. Ibiza in Vancouver, it's inconceivable. Even nature is joining forces against you.
Jean Claude, your Director of Photography, your bosom friend, is preparing the canopies. He is smiling at your astonished expression. "Did you sleep well, my dear?" "Yes, yes…no, Jean Claude. I didn't sleep, I had a hellish night, but what are we going to do with that lousy sun?" "Oh, that…" And you see him looking up at the sky, as if he had just then realized that THE SUN IS SHINING. THAT! Another espresso. Fasten your seatbelts, this is going to be a bumpy day. A traveling shot from the far end of the rail to here. The actors are coming. "Nice day, isn't it?" Has nobody read the script? It has to rain today! We rehearse. Not even seeing Sarah (Polley) and Mark (Ruffalo) living their roles with the force with which they live them raises your spirits. They see you pretending to be enthusiastic. You're a very bad actress. They are worried. "It's all right, what you're doing is wonderful." They don't believe you, you try not to spread panic. Another espresso. Anything for the stomach ulcer. We're going to shoot. With sun, whatever. And now, just like in a Hammer vampire film, in a few seconds some thick, gray clouds appear, covering the sun, and the outline of the dike becomes blurred, swallowed up by a slight mist. Lightning, thunder, all of the sky's artillery puts in an appearance. The rain pours down. Jean Claude takes out his orange waterproof cape which makes him look like a displaced extra from The Lord of the Rings. And the rain takes away your fear, your manias, your insecurities, your stupidities, your espressos, your Potemkin, your infomercials and your lost emails. Action.
©2004 Landmark Theatres