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Plot: Desperate to provide care for her daughter, down-on-her-luck Jean moves in with her father in-law from whom she is estranged. Through time, they learn to forgive each other and heal old wounds. Runtime: 108 mins Release Date: 16 Sep 2005
I have to say that within the past two years I've hard both positive and negative comments on the film adaptation of the book "An Unfinished Life". I for one was extremely interested upon hearing that a movie was being done with Jennifer Lynn Lopez, Robert Redford, and the brilliant Morgan Freeman. This cast for years have entertained me through splendid movies such as Selena, Out of Sight, The Way We Were, and Million Dollar Baby. Although very aware of the skepticiscm of having La Lopez in a film with Oscar performing co-stars, would prove to show ones stubbornness. Lopez <more>
gives a knockout performance and I would challenge anyone who says she was miscast for this role. Isn't it the job of the actor to travel outside of their character, and convey the feelings of another. I don't think much is needed to be said about Redford's and Morgan's heartbreaking performances. Lasse Halstrom has outdone himself again, he has brought justice to the splendid novel by Mark Spragg. I trust all of you will give this Oscar worthy movie a shot, before you draw any of your conclusions. 'An Unfinished Life' reminds me of an old family western, filled with heart and emotion. This coming from a guy whose never in his life has been quite so fond of the wild west.
Don't miss this movie! How wonderful to see a movie with people facing problems we all face! Great! (by MrgrtPeters)
I saw a preview of this movie last night. I have been an admirer of both Redford and Freeman for years. They are a marvelous team. I was moved by their banter and by the the caring relationship that is a result of forty years of friendship. Both give Oscar-worthy performances. Jennifer Lopez was surprisingly good as the victim of domestic abuse. The little girl who played her daughter was also excellent.As my sister and I left the theater, a woman with a clipboard was asking for comments. We both said, "It was great." She answered, "That's what everybody is saying. They <more>
liked the story and the actors." Don't miss this movie! We need more movies that focus on people, not explosions, special effects and gore.Margaret
Some films are able to capture subtleties in a pretty straightforward manner, and this is one of them. With the very capable support of Morgan Freeman, a quite good Jennifer Lopez, and masterful work by Robert Redford, we're treated to a special film, a study of family relationships where things don't appear contrived or staged.People carry grudges and live with demons for many years; some are unable to even get rid of them. That's the case of Redford's character. Without a way to release himself, he has managed to create a pretty miserable existence for himself. The only <more>
redeeming moment arising from the relationship with his best friend.Things are bound to change with the arrival of his daughter-in-law and the granddaughter he never knew existed. The drama unfolds quite nicely and our hearts are touched along the way. It's a quiet movie, full of lovely vistas and some intense drama. It doesn't pack the punch of "Million Dollar Baby", a film which it's bound to recall because of the Freeman's character dynamics. Give yourself a treat and enjoy Redford in the comeback film of his career.
I loved this film, it was a beautiful story. It has its ups and its downs. Its ups the acting, its downs the pace. Worse films have won Oscars, so I definitely think this should be considered. At times its fantastic, at other times it just seems to raise its hand in the air frantically begging for an Oscar. This film would have been much better if it was made for the purpose of telling a great story, not for the purpose of getting an Oscar.Redford is great. He is cast well, and at most times owns the part of Einar Gilkyson. I am biased, however, by having read half the book before I saw the <more>
film didn't have time to finish it . The film tried to hard to make Einar a tough guy physically . For example, the scene where the two drunk guys come in the restaurant and harass Nina, the waitress/owner played by Camryn Manheim . In the book, Redford just simply goes over and talks to them, and actually gets scared that they might kick his butt and another character comes in to "reprimand" them. The film has Redford smashing their heads in with a coffee pot and threatening them with a fork in the throat. I cannot decide whether I like this change or not. I cannot help but notice Redford in a different light in this film. He looks different, and his character is much different than other characters in his career. He seemed to take a risk with this character, and it turned out for the better.Morgan Freeman is fantastic. I walked into the movie, hoping not to see a clitche'd Freeman as the prophet/preacher/conscience of the film. I must admit, that at a lot of times, the typical Freeman does comes to the surface and he gets almost all of the proverbial lines of the film. However, unlike the typical narrator role he plays, he brings personality and humor to the part of Mitch Bradley. Mitch is not perfect, and isn't just there for the sake of having a preacher-character on the ranch. He goes through his own subplot of forgiveness, with the bear that attacked him. Many can take this scene is "corny" and a clitche, but I think his best moment in the film is his discovery of the bear on his property near the end. You can see the fear in his eyes, he's on crutches and has nowhere to run. Te bear charges him and he closes his eyes and repeats "Just keep going." The bear gets forgiveness, which is representation of what should be received by Jean.Jennifer Lopez is not bad in this film at all. In fact, I almost argue that this is her best performance since Out Of Sight. My judgement of her performance was biased, however, having read half the book. I did not agree with the characterization Jennifer chose of Jean. Jennifer's Jean draws too much inspiration from Slim Hiller in Enough. Jennifer plays her to be too much of a victim at times. The book had Jean as a flirtatious sexual free spirit that smoked way too much. There is a small sex scene between her and Josh Lucas in the beginning of the film, which does not fit AT ALL. If Jennifer played Jean as a more sexual even a little trashier, dare I say with bigger flaws in her morale about sex, the scene would've made much more sense. I commend Jennifer for FINALLY playing a character with flaws, but I think she still could've dug a little deeper. In certain scenes you feel she walks through phoning in her lines, and in other scenes she shines and you almost want to hand her an Oscar. Many people gave her flack for looking way too glamorous to play this part. First of all, that's ridiculous and we all need to stop thinking actresses need to ugly themselves to deliver a good performance. Jean was supposed to be beautiful. Jean wore lots of make-up, so Jennifer did too. There is dialogue that even indicated this "I think every customer we had today just came to get a glimpse of you." Jennifer's greatest work in this film includes hardly any dialogue at all; the scene in which she watches a couple argue from behind the restaurant.The role of Jean Gilkyson dances on the line of being a lead character and a supporting character, which can easily be debated wither way. I'm going to go with supporting. Jean doesn't go through a strong enough transformation to be considered a lead. At times, you feel her presence is only necessary for the sake of Einar to move on and offer forgiveness. A transformation from beginning to end is present, just not strong enough.The love story between Jean and Crane is underdeveloped, as someone else on here stated.All in all, a good film. Incredibly slow-paced and dull at times, but well done. It deserves to be considered by the Oscars, but it doesn't deserve to win. As for the subject everyone's talking about; Jennifer Lopez and an Oscar. No, she doesn't deserve and Oscar for this film. Maybe possibly a nomination, but not Oscar-worthy. She's on her way though, and this film is definitely a step in the right direction.
As Good As Million Dollar Baby! (by skillmasta001)
I saw an advance screening of "An Unfinished Life" and was very impressed. I saw a trailer online and thought that it might be worth a good rental until I noticed in the paper that there was an advance screening. I had never been to one, so I decided to go. This film was outstanding! The scenes b/w Redford and Freeman are hysterical. Morgan Freeman plays the same type of supporting character we all loved in "Million Dollar Baby" which I think was the best movie of the year so far , to this one. Robert Redford is perfect for his role and gets the job done as usual. Kudos <more>
to J-Lo for not screwing it up. She didn't do a bad job at all. I don't know who the little girl is, but she did a very good job too.I enjoyed this film just as much as "Million Dollar Baby", even though it wasn't as poetic, it is just as uplifting and entertaining. This is a very good movie with a very good cast. It is definitely worth a full admission price. "Million Dollar Baby" was the only movie that I have ever seen twice in the theaters and I'll probably go back for this one.
They don't make 'em like they used to! Redford is in fine form (by george.schmidt)
AN UNFINISHED LIFE 2005 *** 1/2 Robert Redford, Jennifer Lopez, Morgan Freeman, Becca Gardner, Josh Lucas, Damian Lewis, Camryn Manheim. Dir: Lasse Halstrom Redford is back in form in this laid-back family drama.Robert Redford has been slowly making a comeback to acting and in his latest and most strong attempt proves one thing: the man was never really gone.As Einar Gilkyson, a miserable former drunkard who has been harboring a grudge against the widow of his deceased son, Jean Lopez finally showing her chops in quite some time too , has been living for many years in utter grief on his <more>
spacious ranch in Wyoming with only his confidante and ranch hand Mitch Bradley Forman providing his trademark gravitas to bounce off of he'd be another dissolute cowboy searching for some form of redemption.When Jean shows up on his property he is furious and also oblivious that she has brought along her 12 year old daughter Griff bright newcomer Gardner in flight from her abusive boyfriend Gary Watson Lewis, proving to be downright hissable and showing how a bully really is a coward with nowhere else to go. Einar acknowledges to his surprise he has a granddaughter named after her late dad, Griffin and reluctantly allows them to stay, while Jean gets a job at the local diner. Griff is an atypical tweener her doesn't fit in and finds herself rubbing Einar the wrong way at first while she comes out of her shell with Mitch, who is laid up in the small cottage across the way from a nasty encounter with a grizzly bear which mauled him badly a year previous. The bear has also come back and been captured by the town zoo where Mitch asks Einar to check in on it daily. There's some unspoken bond between the injured man and the carnivore that plays metaphorically as well to the unspoken angst between Einar and Jean, which eventually comes to a head when Gary makes an unannounced visit to stir things up.Redford gives a remarkable performance in his go-against-the-grain casting as the angry Einar Redford does anger very well who gradually feels his heart melt with the new relationship forged with Griff as well as Jean who also must deal with her own 'bear', Gary . The cast in whole, including Lucas as the town sheriff and old friend of the family and Manheim does a nice low-key turn as the owner of the diner who has a fine monologue adding dimension to her role.Based on the best seller by Mark Spragg who adapted the screenplay with his wife Virginia Korus the film plays out in gradual rhythm mixing drama with a nice dose of gentle humor the byplay between Redford and Freeman suggests an old married couple that Gardner calls on them with a ready laugh while director Lasse Halstrom's designs of injured characters physical and metaphysical combined allows his signature for character to blend perfectly with the storytelling that echoes the golden age of Hollywood in the 'they-don't-make-them-like-they-used-to' genre that is all but welcome back here.
As I write this review, I think of why I actually decided to see this movie. I came to the realization that it was to see Robert Redford, and Morgan Freeman - two top-notch, class actors. That said, along with the fact that I'm not a very big fan of Jennifer Lopez's, I thought the presence of Redford, and Freeman would be enough to enjoy this movie. I was wrong, not that either Redford, or Freeman's performances were nothing less than excellent, but the job done by Becca Gardner was especially wonderful. In fact, in my opinion, she stole the show. Gardner's portrayal of the <more>
Griff Gilkyson character was a special one indeed. And yes I must admit, I even enjoyed Jennifer Lopez in this movie. All in all, a very solid movie that I enjoyed so much. And the best part, it was NOT a remake.. thankfully !!
Healing Wounds A Tale of Forgiveness (by claudio_carvalho)
In order to escape from the abusive boy-friend Gary Winston Damian Lewis , Jean Gilkyson Jennifer Lopez moves with her young daughter Griff Gilkyson Becca Gardner without previous notice to the ranch of her father-in-law Einar Gilkyson Robert Redford in Wyoming. Jean and Einar are disaffected, since he blames her for the death of his beloved son in a car accident. Einar is taking care of his friend Mitch Bradley Morgan Freeman , who was attacked and seriously wounded by a bear, and he does not know that he has a grand-daughter. While Mitch heals his wounds and forgives the bear, Einar <more>
also changes his feelings regarding Jean, finally understanding that accidents happen and accepting her and loving his grand-daughter."An Unfinished Life" is a beautiful tale of forgiveness, with the lead characters healing their wounds Mitch, the ones provoked by a savage bear, and Einar his innermost feelings of loss. The cast has amazing performances, showing the importance of a director of the weight of Lasse Halltröm: Robert Redford and Morgan Freeman are unanimity, but I myself like a lot the versatile Jennifer Lopez and strongly believe that even the viewer that dislike her as actress must admit her excellent performance in this touching film. Josh Lucas is a great support actor and the favorable surprise is the performance of the young and unknown Becca Gardner. Although being a predictable story without any twist, this sensitive movie is highly recommended. My vote is eight.Title Brazil : "Um Lugar para Recomeçar" "A Place to Restart"
Fine performances highlight Spragg novel adaptation (by eichelbergersports)
Robert Redford makes a strong bid for his first Best Actor nomination since "The Sting" in 1973, as he plays Einer Gilkyson, a bitter, disillusioned Wyoming rancher who takes in his abused daughter-in-law Jennifer Lopez and heretofore unknown grand-daughter Becca Gardner .Escaping her violent boyfriend, Gary Damien Lewis, "Dreamcatcher" , Jean Gilkyson Lopez takes her daughter, Griff, from Iowa to a run-down homestead occupied by her father-in-law, still blaming her for the death of his son 11 years before. The two are like oil and water, and neither wants to deal <more>
with the other, but necessity forces them together. At first gruff and unfeeling towards Griff, Einer softens to the point where he begins to manifest a genuine love and concern for her. While this is going on, however, he is dealing with his only friend and ranch hand, Mitch Bradley Morgan Freeman , who was recently mauled by a rogue grizzly bear; and jean has to watch her back when her ex returns looking for her.Directed by Lasse Hallstrom "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," "The Cider House Rules," "Chocolat" and adapted from Mark Spragg's novel, Life is a wonderful film, full of terrific acting, taut storytelling and beautiful scenery most of the picture was film in British Columbia by cinematographer Oliver Stapleton, "Ned Kelly," "Shipping News" .Redford, Freeman and little Becca Gardner give Oscar-worthy performances, while Lopez holds her own with this talented cast. In a year of terrible movies for the most part, this one is a pleasant surprise and not to be missed.