Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An Unfinished Life

I guess all of us have our favorite movies. One of mine is An Unfinished Life.

I like this movie so much I gave a DVD of it to my daughter for her birthday. It is a story about forgiveness. I suppose that is in short supply some times.

Jennifer Lopez plays a woman who is the victim of domestic abuse and runs away from an abusive man. She runs from Iowa all the way to Wyoming to stay with her former father-in-law, Einer (Redford).

She brings with her, her 10-year old daughter - the granddaughter Einer has never met.

Einer doesn't want her around. About 10 years earlier she was driving the car that was in an accident. Einer's son was killed. Since his son's death, Einer has been drinking and grieving. His wife left him and now he lives alone on a ranch with his long time friend played by Morgan Freeman.

Morgan Freeman's character was mauled by a grizzly bear earlier. Now that he is recovering, he has asked Einer to figure out a way to release the bear from a make shift zoo and set him free. Freeman's character wants to forgive the bear for the attack. As Einer looks at the bear in this scene, he doesn't understand why his friend would want the bear released.

Einer refuses to forgive Lopez's character for the death of his son. However, it is the granddaughter, named Griff after her father (Griffin), who manages to finally get through to the grandfather she has never met.

Over time Einer starts to love his granddaughter and the two of them do everything from driving an old truck together to learning about horses.

Through his granddaughter, Einer is able to finally forgive his former daughter-in-law and, most importantly, in some way, to forgive himself. Through a lot of soul searching he decides perhaps it is time to live again and quit wallowing in the past.

I think the movie provides a lesson for all of us. That even though life may not deal us a fair hand and even though we have our trials and tribulations, life is meant to be lived - not mourned.

Instead of drowning ourselves in the various sorrows that have surrounded us, we need to be strong enough and willing enough to push through the past and look to the future.

This last image is just for fun -- it shows the video with the French title. Last night I watched French Kiss (a very good movie if you have not seen it). Johnny Carson used to always say that he really didn't care what the French were saying, he just liked to listen to the language as it is so beautiful. I agree.

Thanks for stopping by.


Finding Pam said...

I have not seen this movie, but it sounds like a really good one to see.

Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves, though not always easy.

Leslie: said...

I haven't seen this one, either, but may take a look at it. I agree with Pam (above) that forgiveness is for ourselves to release us from the anger.

Marge said...

Thanks for the movie suggestion. We haven't seen this one either, but will be sure to check it out.

Country Girl said...

Russell, I loved this post. I just joined Netflix and am always looking for good movies to watch. I think I have seen bits and pieces of this movie but now want really want to see it. I enjoyed the description and all of the photos. And I agree with Mr. Carson.

Jo said...

"Instead of drowning ourselves in the various sorrows that have surrounded us, we need to be strong enough and willing enough to push through the past and look to the future." That has always been my philosophy. I never look backwards. We cannot undo our past experiences, but we can learn from them and move on.

"The moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on..."

An Unfinished Life was one of my favorite movies too.

Cedar said...

Great post Russell and I will be seeing this movie soon...

Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it.