Where Was An Unfinished Life Filmed?

Swedish film director Lasse Hallström brings a poignant and moving tale to life in the 2005 western-tinted drama movie ‘An Unfinished Life.’ Based on the novel of the same name by Mark Spragg, the story revolves around rancher Einar, whose life takes an unexpected turn as his daughter-in-law appears before his doorstep with a granddaughter he knew nothing about. The compelling chronicle of a disjointed family veers off to sentimentality at times but packs moments of intense emotions to sway fans.

With A-listers such as Jennifer Lopez, Robert Redford, and Morgan Freeman at the helm of the acting department, the movie is surely a star-studded affair. Most of the story unfolds in a rundown ranch in Wyoming, and it is natural for you to wonder if that was the place of filming. If you seek to visit the locations where the film was shot, let us take you out on a journey!

An Unfinished Life Filming Locations

‘An Unfinished Life’ was filmed in its entirety in Canada, especially Alberta and British Columbia. Filming for the movie commenced on April 21, 2003, and supposedly wrapped up by the end of the year. The movie’s narrative is set in the sparsely populated US state of Wyoming, home to the Yellowstone National Park. Also known as the “Cowboy State,” Wyoming acts as a perfect setting for the dusty and gritty drama.

However, the cast and crew chose to film the movie in the neighboring territory of Canada due to the manifold benefits that the country fosters for cinematic productions. The country showcases a vast range of landscapes that are ideal for filming and an army of skilled technicians who are adept in cutting-edge technology. Moreover, the lucrative tax credit program promoted by the government acts as a catalyst to the ever-growing film industries in the country. Now, allow us to take you to the specific locations where the movie was filmed!

Thompson Country, British Columbia

The story of the film is set in and around a dilapidated ranch just outside Ishawooa, Wyoming. However, most of the sequences were filmed in and around Kamloops, a sprawling metropolis in the south-central region of British Columbia. The city is situated at the confluence of the South and North Thompson rivers, in the Thompson–Nicola Regional District.

Presumably, then, the Ishawooa Creek was replaced by Thompson River in the movie. The crew set up camps near the west end of Kamloops Lake to facilitate filming. Due to the nature of the scenes, they could not be filmed inside the city. In search of greener pastures, the production moved to Savona, a small community at the west end of the lake, to film some crucial sequences. Moreover, some scenes were filmed further west in Ashcroft, a sleepy township 30 kilometers downstream from Kamloops Lake, in the same district.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Additionally, some interior scenes were shot in the coastal seaport city of Vancouver in western Canada, one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country, besides being one of the most densely populated. Due to the region’s temperate weather, natural locations, and availability of skilled labor, the city has become home to the booming film industry in the wake of the 21st century.

Known as “Hollywood of the North,” Vancouver features a wide array of film studios, most of which are updated with recent technology. From ‘I, Robot’ to ‘Apollo 11,’ several blockbuster movies were filmed in the city.


The director also took the cast and crew to the neighboring Canadian province of Alberta to film a few necessary sequences. Some scenes were filmed in and around Medicine Hat, a city located within Cypress County in the south-eastern region of the province.

If you plan to visit the city anytime soon, make sure to take a tour of the Historic Clay District and the picturesque park trails. Lastly, a few scenes were filmed in the scenic hamlet of Burdett, approximately 71 kilometers west of Medicine Hat.

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