Set against the rugged ranchlands of Wyoming, An Unfinished Life is the story of a modern-day Western family, as stoic as they are divided, learning the true meaning of forgiveness. (Miramax)
You can’t help but see this movie being crafted out of shards of movies past, seemingly in a cut and paste method. In the hands of a less skillful director, the film could very easily flop, but it doesn’t.
Your basic Lasse Hallstrom formula-film, featuring people in dire situations who are redeemed when their basic goodness comes to the fore, elevated a notch by a pair of actors displaying sides we don’t often see.
Thoroughly predictable from start to finish.
By the conclusion, the movie turns into the ursine answer to “Free Willy,” veering dangerously close to New Age parody: Free your inner bear — and begin to heal from the last time you got mauled.
As with the director’s other films, all that keeps Unfinished from being a complete, treacly bore is its robust performances.
Freeman is Freeman, all homespun dignity. Surely it’s time for him to play a saucy interior decorator or a crazed dictator.
This unusual convergence of stars doesn’t amount to much.