An Unfinished Life

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An Unfinished Life
Review (7/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

In An Unfinished Life Jennifer Lopez stars as Jean Gilkyson, a widower who has found herself in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend Gary (Damian Lewis). Jean finally gathers the strength to pack up herself and her daughter Griff (Becca Gardner) but, with nowhere to go, the two girls end up in Ishawooa, Wyoming and on the ranch of her ex-father-in-law Einar (Robert Redford). Since the death of his son, Einar has become somewhat of a hermit, tending to both the wounds, courtsey of a friendly neighbourhood grizzly bear, of his best friend Mitch (Morgan Freeman) and his run-down and neglected cattle ranch. Einar has become a bitter man since the death of his son. He has lost his ranch, his wife and has battled alcohol problems and needless to say, he is none to happy to see Jean. He blames her for the death of her husband and his son. Nevertheless, he takes in Jean and his newfound granddaughter until they can get back on their feet and with the help of Griff, Mitch and to a certain extent Jean, he soon realizes that it is time for him to move on before he dies a bitter and lonely man. In the meantime, in a strange twist to the story, Jean meets a local sheriff (Josh Lucas) and has sex with him in his police car soon after meeting him.

An Unfinished Life is a movie about relationships. The relationship between a father and son, between best friends, an abusive relationship, a mother and her child, a father and daughter-in-law, a grandfather and his granddaughter and a man and a bear. It is a movie about burying ghosts from the past and accepting life as it is. Some do it so well (Mitch) and some take a while (Einar). It is a movie with unlikeable characters (Gary) and likeable ones (everyone but Gary).

Like most of the characters in An Unfinished Life, the movie is likeable. It is not nearly as emotional as it wants to be. And I would be surprised if anyone walks out of the theatre after seeing this movie thinking that it is one of the great movies of all-time. But there is not a lot to dislike about the movie and sometimes that is just good enough. The strength of the movie is its fabulous cast. Led by Redford and Freeman, An Unfinished Life delivers one solid performance after another. Lopez, Gardner, Lewis and Lucas are all equally up to the task. Nobody falters in this movie and that is one of the main reasons An Unfinished Life is such a satisfying movie.

An Unfinished Life may not be a movie that appeases everyone. Some may find it boring and slow-moving. But I was impressed with the characters, the acting and the solid story. I may not have walked out of the theatre whistling Dixie but it is a heartfelt and solid movie that can best be described as gratifying.

Keyword : Jennifer Lopez, Morgan Freeman, Eli, Josh Lucas, Robert Redford, Ant, An Unfinished Life, Ex, Good, Heart, Here, May, Move, Out, Red, Run, Take, Up, Grand, GTH, Shaw, Bi, Now, Ryo, M., Cas, Damian Lewis


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