Wednesday, October 29, 2008

An Unfinished Life (2005) PG13 - 4 Stars

I really liked this movie, set in a small town in Montana. Three of my favorite actors, Jennifer Lopez, Robert Redford and Morgan Freeman all together in the same movie, it's got to be good. All three give superior performances as they each struggle to get up each morning and do the right thing. Filmed in a beautiful setting, makes you value that simple life.

Einar Gilkyson (Reobert Redford), and Mitch (Morgan Freeman), are what's left of a working ranch high in the hills of Montana. The two have been together for 40 years on the ranch. But Einar had a bad drinking habit causing mismanagement of his land, his hired help leaving and the selling of his cows, just to make ends meet. One afternoon when Mitch and Einar were out in the field, they came across a Grizzly feeding. Startled, the bear turned on Mitch nearly mauling him to death. To this day, Einar has attended to the painful wounds of his only last friend Mitch. Einar still pines the loss of his only son, Griffin to a car accident that he still blames his daughter Jean (Jennifer Lopez), for.

Jean has been living with the guilt of her husbands death and has gotten herself and her daughter "Griff" Gilkyson (Becca Gardner) named after her father, into a situation she has a hard time getting out of. Her new boyfriend Gary Winston (Damian Lewis), has become abusive to her and resorted to hitting her. When she can stand the abuse no longer, she flees with her daughter to anywhere far away from Gary. But their car has another idea in mind and when they have no choice, the board a bus to Montana to Einar's ranch to introduce his grand daughter.

Mitch is barely able to move because of his wounds, but manages to feel pity for the bear when he learns of his capture and captivity at the local petting zoo. Though he's lucky to be alive, he still almost forgives the bear for his intrusion that day. When the 3 adults, and child, all co-exist together, they will teach each other valuable lessons while healing each other's wounds.

Miramax Films
Director: Lasse Hallström
Writers: Mark Spragg, Virginia Spragg
Producers: Leslie Holleran, Alan Ladd, Jr., Kelliann Ladd
I viewed 5/06 and 10/08

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