Unfaithful

Directed by Adrian Lyne

> > Nov 2002

Unfaithful - Directed by Adrian Lyne
By James KeastThe thrill and consequences of adultery are in sharp relief in this intelligent, adult film by director Adrian Lyne (Fatal Attraction, Lolita). Connie Sumner (Diane Lane) is a happy New York socialite with a husband and son (Richard Gere and Malcolm's Dewey, Erik Per Sullivan) in the suburbs who gets drawn into a very steamy affair with an exotic book dealer (Olivier Martinez). This remake of a 30-year-old French film (Claude Chabrol's La Femme Infidel) is modernised and fleshed-out, adding much more of the actual affair and adding a dramatic third act. What makes Unfaithful fascinating is the unanswered causes for the affair itself — there is no horrible husband or unhappy home life to drive Connie into the arms of another man. It manages to say "it's just one of those things that happens" without being glib or dismissive of it — and to that end, Unfaithful is entirely the Diane Lane show. She manages the remarkable feat of remaining compassionate even while she lies to her husband and child, who remain sweet as can be throughout. Richard Gere strips away his typical swagger in this career-altering turn as the bookish, sensitive cuckold, while Olivier Martinez does a lot to heat up the steamy sex scenes. Director Lyne has been down this road before with Fatal Attraction, but where it went for high-impact tension, Unfaithful takes a more understated, adult path through its emotions. It's a riveting film that deserves greater examination, and to that end, the DVD package actually adds some enlightening elements. Extras: various commentaries, making of doc, 11 deleted scenes including alternate ending, Charlie Rose interview, script notes and more. (Fox)
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