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An Unfinished Life (2005)

PG-13 | | Drama | 16 September 2005 (USA)
1:57 | Trailer

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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.


2 wins. See more awards »



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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


To escape an abusive boyfriend, without announcing her plans in advance, Jean Gilkyson takes her young daughter Griff to the Wyoming ranch of her father-in-law, Einar. Jean and Einar are disaffected, as he blames her for the death of his son in a car accident. Einar is taking care of his friend Mitch, who was attacked by a bear, and Einar does not know that he has a granddaughter. While Mitch heals and forgives the bear, Einar also changes his feelings regarding Jean, finally understanding that accidents happen and accepting her and loving Griff. 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)


$8,535,575 (USA) (14 October 2005)

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 »


When Griff takes a sandwich to Mitch he takes a bite off one corner. In the second shot he takes a bite off the other corner. In the third shot it shows only one bite off one 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 »


Broken Heart for Sale
Written and Performed by Heather Myles
Courtesy of Rounder Recods
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
See more »

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User Reviews

An excellent film with Redford and Freeman in fine form. Not to be missed.
4 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

An Unfinished Life may be the sweetest movie you'll see this year, and certainly the most beautiful. Take yourself to the theater, then look forward to the DVD.

We are treated to watch Robert Redford play a perfect curmudgeon, crusty, craggy, a rancher named Einar Gilkyson, in his 60's who has a lot to do every day. His first duty is to take care of his best friend and long time cowboy buddy, Mitch Bradley, played by Morgan Freeman. Then he gets to milk the cows. Their friendship carries the film through the ups and downs of life, with Mitch as the guiding light to Einar's disgruntled reality.

Unable to pull her own life together, Einar's daughter-in-law arrives with Einar's granddaugther in tow, needing a temporary place to stay. Jennifer Lopez plays Jean, and her daughter, Giff, is well played by Becca Gardner. The daughter-in-law is immediately rejected by Einar, still feeling the loss of his son and blaming her for it. They stay any way, and the story develops their lives as the four of them work out their differences while living on the ranch in a stunningly beautiful valley. Josh Lucas plays the local sheriff, a handsome man that reminds one of the younger Robert Redford. He gives spark to Lopezs character while being a complete gentleman.

An Unfinished Life brings a man and a bear together to acknowledge each others strengths, and brings an unhappy, bitter man to realize that he still has an amazing family right in front of him. Appreciation and forgiveness, along with some adversity, show us that unity is still possible even given previous misunderstandings and alienation's.

Every one in the film does a good job, and you feel like you have just visited the ranch and had dinner with these characters, and you want to go back for breakfast. The relationships in this film are realistic and intelligent, not sappy nor Hollywood glossy.

This is a wonderful film and it is a great delight to watch Redford, Freeman, Lopez, Lucas and Gardner play their parts in such gorgeous scenery. There is plenty of humor in the film, and an honest look at how we work out our emotional dilemmas and hang ups and eventually bring out the best in ourselves, often by being around someone else's best.

You will feel bested yourself, for watching this fine film. Compliments especially to Robert Redford and Morgan Freeman, a dynamic duo. They are a perfect compliment to each other, and their maturity is a great bonus to the film.

88 of 100 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
$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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