Frankly, I was a bit dismayed when this DVD showed up from Netflix. It simply isn’t the type of film I usually select and I’m still wondering how it got on my list. After viewing it, I can only assume I had a moment of clarity and added it. I really, truly enjoyed it. It functions on a number of levels and I was never too sure which character had “An Unfinished Life.” I can only assume all of them, including the bear.
Robert Redford was marvelous as the grumpy father-in-law, Einar, who takes in his daughter-in-law, played by Jennifer Lopez, who disappeared after the death of Einar’s son in a car accident some ten years before and his granddaughter he didn’t know he had. Morgan Freeman, who never disappoints, plays the voice of wisdom, Mitch, Einar’s ranchhand who was mauled by a bear a year before. The freeing of the bear is just one of the many subplots which is artfully woven into this story, as is the appearance of Gary, the daughter-in-law’s abusive ex-boyfriend and her budding romance with the sheriff.
There’s a nice mix of humor, tenderness, violence, action and a whole lot of character growth in this film – it should not be missed.