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An Unfinished Life (2005)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  16 September 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 22,754 users   Metascore: 49/100
Reviews: 149 user | 107 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

A down on her luck woman, desperate to provide care for her daughter, moves in with her father in-law from whom she is estranged. Through time, they learn to forgive each other and heal old wounds.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Winston
P. Lynn Johnson ...
Shelter Supervisor
Byron Lucas ...
Motorcycle Rider
Trevor Moss ...
Griffin Gilkyson
R. Nelson Brown ...
Kent (as Rnelsonbrown)
Dillard Brinson ...
Gnome Owner
Customer #1


In order to escape from the abusive boy-friend, Gary Winston, Jean Gilkyson moves with her young daughter Griff Gilkyson without previous notice to the ranch of her father-in-law Einar Gilkyson 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, 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 also changes his feelings regarding Jean, finally understanding that accidents happen and accepting her and loving his grand-daughter. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


every secret takes on a life of its own



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence including domestic abuse, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »




Release Date:

16 September 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

En dag i livet  »

Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,008,308 (USA) (9 September 2005)


$551,809 (Brazil) (31 March 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Dedicated to Karin Lyberg-Hallström and Britta Olin, Lasse's and Lena's mothers respectively. See more »


In the scene where the truck with the grandfather (Robert Redford's character) and the young girl inside is coming back to the farm at night you can see a human watching the scene, and a piece of equipment at the end of the scene in the bottom right corner. See more »


[first lines]
Einar Gilkyson: [talking to raccoon] I heard you interfering little bastards rummage around my yard. I'll thank you for keeping the owls off of my cats.
See more »


Features Below (2002) See more »


Getting to Me
Written by Kelly Willis and Gary Louris
Performed by Kelly Willis
Courtesy of Rykodisc
See more »

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User Reviews

Redford's legacy continues as an observer of "ordinary people"
7 October 2005 | by (Wyoming, USA) – See all my reviews

Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman, and eye candy, J. Lo., along with a delightful young new comer Becca Gardener and a believable story, and you have an honest to goodness story of real people dealing with real life.

Many will see it as a soap opera.

As you look back at the projects Redford has been involved with, you see continuity. He likes to look into the lives of "ordinary people" living simple normal lives. No cheap tricks here. Just an honest story.

Jean Gilkyson, (J. Lo) the young, widowed and down and out of luck daughter-in-law of Einar Gilkyson (Redford) is a battered woman in Iowa. She and her 11 year old daughter Griff escape her abusive boy friend (Lewis) from Iowa and manage to reach the dumpy Wyoming ranch of her once father-in-law. No love is lost between the two as he blames her for the untimely death of his son. (No Spoilers here!) Predictably, there is conflict and drama between the two. Add in the wonderful supporting act of Morgan Freeman as the ailing ranch hand living in a nearby cabin, a bit of romance between J. Lo. and the local sheriff, the appearance, disappearance and reappearance of the abusive boyfriend from Iowa along with the absolutely delightful performance of Becca Gardner whose eyes will mesmerize you and, "Bart the Bear" and you have well spent time and money.


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$30million to make! Really? Vondaz
why do people obsess over J-Lo's acting? rebecca2nahid
Which cardgame were Einar and Mitch playing? sander4318
Robert Reddfoerd the weak link! tusbatz
more agitprop: female abusing white male, good black male... jiveandwail
Recommend similar films? belger
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