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AN UNFINISHED LIFE
USA: Miramax Films
UK: Buena Vista International UK
Cast: Robert Redford, Jennifer Lopez, Morgan Freeman, Josh Lucas, Damian Lewis, Camryn Manheim, Becca Gardner, Lynda Boyd, R Nelson Brown, Rob Hayter, Sean J Dory, P Lynn Johnson
Director: Lasse Hallström
USA & UK: 107 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for some violence including domestic abuse, and language
UK Certificate: 12A contains moderate violence and one use of strong language
USA Release Date: 9 September 2005 (Limited Release)
UK Release Date: 16 June 2006
AN UNFINISHED LIFE is a story about forgiveness. Einar Gilkyson (Robert Redford) lives in north western Wyoming with his hired hand and closest friend, Mitch Bradley (Morgan Freeman). The two have lived and worked together on Einar's ranch for forty years.
But Einar's grief over his lost son—Griffin Gilkyson's tombstone reads "an unfinished life"—drove away his wife and turned him to alcohol. When Mitch was mauled by a bear, Einar was too drunk and helpless to help. While Mitch lives with the wounds from the bear, Einar lives with the guilt of not coming to his friend's aid. He quit drinking, collapsed and let the ranch fall into ruin. He spends his days caring for Mitch—the simple redemption of a grieving and remorseful man.
In this setting, Einar's estranged daughter-in-law Jean Gilkyson (Jennifer Lopez) and her 11 year-old daughter Griff (Becca Gardner) arrive at the ranch. Jean is on the run from her abusive boyfriend Gary (Damien Lewis) and has no where else to go. Einar and Jean have not spoken in over a decade. She asks to stay for a month, until she can make enough money to move on and Einar reluctantly agrees, once he learns Griff is his granddaughter.
Tensions run deep as Einar blames Jean for the death of his son. Jean was driving the car when it crashed.
Jean soon finds a job, and a friend in Nina (Camryn Manheim) at the local cafe. In an effort to alleviate her loneliness, she begins a relationship with Crane Curtis (Josh Lucas), the local sheriff. Jean wants an arrangement with no emotional involvement, but Crane feels otherwise.
Forced to confront old wounds, both Einar and Jean awaken to the strength of their reunited family through Griff.
But there is the bear. Captured and on display in an animal park since the mauling, Mitch seems obsessed with its imprisonment. Mitch demands that Einar visit and feed the bear, and asks Einar to give it one more chance at life in the wild.
With Einar's attempt to free the bear and Gary's eventual arrival in Wyoming, this broken family begins to heal and rediscover its love for one another.