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An Unfinished Life Review


Weak
We never meet Griff Gilkyson - he's shown in outdated photographs and discussed frequently - though his memory rages in the hearts of three emotionally damaged characters. His death is the reason director Lasse Hallström titled his latest drama An Unfinished Life.

Griff's pregnant wife, Jean (Jenifer Lopez), was behind the wheel the night the couple's car flipped six times. Griff's father, Einar (Robert Redford), crawled into the nearest liquor bottle to mourn his dead son and has yet to forgive Jean for an accident she'd give anything to take back. The couple's daughter, now 11 and also named Griff (Becca Gardner), wants to know her late father so she's able to properly miss him.

Continue reading: An Unfinished Life Review

An Unfinished Life Review


Weak
We never meet Griff Gilkyson - he's shown in outdated photographs and discussed frequently - though his memory rages in the hearts of three emotionally damaged characters. His death is the reason director Lasse Hallström titled his latest drama An Unfinished Life.

Griff's pregnant wife, Jean (Jenifer Lopez), was behind the wheel the night the couple's car flipped six times. Griff's father, Einar (Robert Redford), crawled into the nearest liquor bottle to mourn his dead son and has yet to forgive Jean for an accident she'd give anything to take back. The couple's daughter, now 11 and also named Griff (Becca Gardner), wants to know her late father so she's able to properly miss him.

Continue reading: An Unfinished Life Review

An Unfinished Life Review


Weak

Another sleepy, sweeping soft-serve melodrama from director Lasse Hallstrom ("The Shipping News," "Chocolat," "Cider House Rules"), "An Unfinished Life" stars Robert Redford as a grizzly Wyoming rancher who resentfully takes in his long-estranged, widowed daughter-in-law (Jennifer Lopez) when she reluctantly turns up seeking shelter from an abusive boyfriend.

Still bitterly nursing the loss of his son some 11 years ago in a car accident for which Einer (Redford) blames Jean (Lopez), the unfriendly ol' cuss becomes even more surly when introduced to Griff (Becca Gardner), an attentive, 11-year-old tomboy granddaughter he never knew he had.

Emotionally credible and transportingly photographed, it's a film that wears its out-sized metaphors well (Redford and the girl bond over freeing a recently captured bear he'd previously tried to kill). But structurally it's so lacking in imagination (suppose Lopez will fall for the handsome, strong but non-threatening sheriff played by Josh Lucas?) that the story arc seems to have been drawn on graph paper rather than written in a script.

Continue reading: An Unfinished Life Review

Becca Gardner

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