AN UNFINISHED LIFE

Somewhat Rewarding

Content -2
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: September 09, 2005

Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Robert
Redford, Morgan Freeman, Josh
Lucas, and Becca Gardner

Genre: Drama

Audience: Older teenagers and adults

Rating: PG-13 for some violence
including domestic abuse, and
language

Runtime: 104 minutes

Distributor: Miramax Films

Director: Lasse Hallström

Executive Producer: Su Armstrong, Graham King,
Meryl Poster, Michelle Raimo,
Matthew Rhodes, Joe Roth, Mark
Rydell, and Harvey Weinstein

Producer: Leslie Holleran, Alan Ladd
Jr., and Kelliann Ladd

Writer: Mark Spragg and Virginia Korus
Spragg

Address Comments To:

Bob and Harvey Weinstein
Co-Chairmen
Miramax Films
375 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013
Phone: (323) 822-4100 and (212) 941-3800
Fax: (212) 941-3846
Website: www.miramax.com

Content:

(BB, C, LLL, V, S, N, A, D, MM) Strong moral worldview with forgiveness and familial reconciliation, plus characters who are redeemed from their selfishness; 25 obscenities and 16 profanities, many strong; abusive boyfriend hits woman and kicks furniture, villain threatened with gun, and abusive boyfriend is beaten; two brief sexual innuendos, fornication in car seen from a distance and cohabitation; partial rear male nudity when invalid receives shot; drinking; smoking; and, stealing, breaking and entering, and mother exposes young daughter to abusive boyfriends and cohabitation.

Summary:

AN UNFINISHED LIFE follows Jean, played by Jennifer Lopez, as she leaves her abusive boyfriend and moves in with the father of her deceased husband, played by Robert Redford. The story deals with forgiveness and reconciliation, making for a quality drama about family, marred by lots of moderate foul language.

Review:

AN UNFINISHED LIFE is a story about family and the difficulty of forgiveness, set on dusty Wyoming farmland.

Jean, played by Jennifer Lopez, leaves her abusive boyfriend and moves in with Einar, the father of her deceased husband. Einar, played by Robert Redford, lives on a ranch. Einar is aging and bitter. He doesn't want to see Jean, because he blames her for his son's death. Jean doesn’t want to be on his ranch, either, but she has no other place to go and needs a stable environment for her young daughter Griff. Einar has never met Griff until now and doesn’t know how to relate to her.

Einar also has a companion on the ranch, Morgan Freeman’s character Mitch, who is recovering from a bear attack. Mitch’s effort to see that the bear is not tortured or mistreated, even while he suffers pain from the attack, becomes a clear metaphor for the forgiveness that Einar should extend to Jean. The wise Mitch advises Einar to befriend his granddaughter and reconcile with Jean, but Einar can only forge these relationships once he stops blaming Jean for his pain.



Befitting the setting, the movie moves at a slow, loping pace. As might be expected for a movie starring Jennifer Lopez, the characters display their personalities in very obvious ways that leave little room for subtlety or the audience’s mental participation in the story. As the characters begin to interact, however, they become more likeable, and the movie picks up some momentum.

AN UNFINISHED LIFE deals with forgiveness and reconciliation. Morgan Freeman’s character states the real point of the film when he says, “People hurt you, but you can’t punish them forever.” He enacts his words when he sets free the bear that mauled him. Jean and Einar both make selfish, destructive decisions involving their children, but they grow up and become more moral people. They are redeemed from their ugly behavior.

This warm story isn’t appropriate for children, as it contains some strong profanity, domestic violence, a few lawless acts, and situations that are too complex for young people.

Although it’s nice to see a strong character arc, AN UNFINISHED LIFE is a paint-by-numbers family drama probably designed with Oscar hopes in mind. There is nothing special or memorable about it. It is average in all regards, although it would be nice if more average movies were as pleasant to watch and as rewarding as this one.

In Brief:

AN UNFINISHED LIFE follows Jean, played by Jennifer Lopez, as she leaves her abusive boyfriend and moves in with Einar, the father of her deceased husband. Einar, played by Robert Redford, lives on a ranch in Wyoming. Einar is aging and bitter. He doesn't want to see Jean, because he blames her for his son's death. Jean brings her daughter Griff, whom Einar has never met and doesn’t know how to relate. Einar also has a companion on the ranch, Morgan Freeman’s character Mitch, who's recovering from a bear attack. The wise Mitch advises Einar to befriend his granddaughter and reconcile with Jean, but Einar can only forge these relationships once he stops blaming Jean for his pain.

AN UNFINISHED LIFE deals with forgiveness and reconciliation. Morgan Freeman’s character states the movie's true point: “People hurt you, but you can’t punish them forever.” He utters his words when he sets free the bear that mauled him. Jean and Einar make selfish, destructive decisions involving their children, but they grow up and become more moral people. There is a strong caution for foul language, but AN UNFINISHED LIFE is a quality, but average, drama about family.