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A film about human choices, lusts, and consequences
bondgirl678122 October 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Adrian Lyne is fascinated by human sexuality and he presents it in a way that is adult but without being pornographic. Unfaithful tells the story of a perfectly normal and happy couple, Edward (Richard Gere) and Connie (Diane Lane). They look ideal: he is a very successful businessman, she is a wonderful and loving wife and mother to their young son, and they live in a beautiful home. Everything is perfect until one day Connie goes into the city to shop for her son's birthday party when a wind storm makes her bump into a handsome French librarian/book collector named Paul (Olivier Martinez). She is injured and unable to get a taxi, Paul helps her and when he was unable to get her into a taxi he offers her to come upstairs to his apartment to use a telephone and bandage up her injury. Connie is immediately attracted and fascinated by the handsome stranger, but nothing happens and she goes home but she cannot stop thinking about Paul. She goes back and finds him. In the second encounter with Paul nothing happens but she still cannot stop thinking about him and it seems very obvious to Paul that he is also attracted to her. In the third encounter, Paul and Connie have sex and it is the beginning of a tumultuous affair that will set a chain reaction of guilt, jealousy, obsession, heartbreak, and murder.

I love how Adrian Lyne (very much like he did in Fatal Attraction) adds the human drama of the family breaking apart because of an infidelity. Connie was not looking for an affair and her relationship with Paul was the result of an accident. We don't even question why Connie has an affair with this person. She did it out of impulse, out of lust, and for the pure excitement of how far she could take it until she realizes the effect it begins to have on her: she begins to obsess over Paul, she is hurting the man she truly loves, Edward, and she begins to see the toll it takes on her as a mother. After another encounter with her lover she is late to pick up her son from school who is waiting for her on the steps of the school. We see the slow fall the family begins to take and we are even touched at the little child's innocence and how he never ever picks up the signals that his parent's marriage is breaking apart. The performances by the actors are especially effective particularly by the two leads: Richard Gere and Diane Lane. Gere is heartbreaking in a role that plays opposite to the playboy image that made him famous as he plays the role of a man whose own world falls apart as he begins to suspect his wife's infidelity and his own humiliation begins to take a toll on him. He never even asks his wife if she is cheating but hires a private detective. The ending when he tells Connie that it was her that he hated and it was her that he wished would die...what a great Richard Gere moment! And of course there is Diane Lane: she was beautiful at 13 and she is beautiful today. She is magnificent in this role which was originally intended for actresses like Sharon Stone and Kim Basinger who were the original choices for the role of Connie. But one word describes Lane's performance: luminous. The classic Lane moment was the scene with her on the train on her way home after her first sexual encounter with Paul. A scene that was shot only once and Lane's expressions changes from giddy, guilty, shameful, embarrassed, and excited as she cries and laughs and giggles. All of these expressions flashing through in a matter of seconds all in one shot! The scene where she finds the pictures of her and her lover taken by the private detective; How she looks through them and waves of nausea, embarrassment, guilt, and absolute regret. The scene where she sits by the fireplace as she burns the pictures taken by the PI and she looks back and wishes that she had never gone up in the apartment and if she had just gone home. Lane doesn't make us hate her character but at the same time doesn't really allow us to condone Connie's actions. She rather shows the audience that Connie is only a HUMAN being and she is not perfect and she made a mistake and that she feels lust and also feels guilt. It is a touching and sexy performance. Even Olivier Martinez plays his role effectively. He is if anything an innocent. He didn't fall in love with Connie and he wasn't searching for anyone. He was simply fulfilling his own desires and hers and it aroused him, but his desires in the end made him the victim of a tragedy that didn't need to happen. He is also very sexy and very mysterious and what woman in the planet wouldn't lust after him! Unfaithful really plays itself out as a human story about lust and the consequences but it doesn't preach. It's message is that no one is perfect and everyone is only human and we respond to the basic human desires and needs but there is always a consequence for every decision or impulse made. An excellent film.
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not quite what I expected!
whirligig12 May 2002
First off, I was quite surprised to see the cinema so full for this movie, even on opening weekend. I guess not that many movies for women in their 30's plus exist these days!

I expected this movie, as I'm sure many people did, to be a Fatal Attraction but with the genders switched around.

I was pleasantly surprised and shocked by it NOT being what I expected, and I definitely enjoyed it alot more than Fatal Attraction.

The summary of this movie is that Diane Lane's character starts cheating on her husband (Richard Gere) with a beautiful French man(Olivier Martinez). Everything else should be left for surprise.

The pacing of this movie is perfect. We got a sense of Connie and Edward's home life before she met the dashing Paul. They have a darling son, Charlie, who adds alot of humour to the movie, but in a non precocious way. After the affair starts we see Connie's feelings range from excitement to complete disgust with herself. And of course Edward inevitably finds out. His reaction is interesting, to say the least, and perhaps very honest.

The acting is great, especially from Diane Lane. The sex scenes are pretty raunchy, and made me uncomfortable at certain points, but it's interesting to see how different sex with the lover and sex with the husband were.

At the end of this movie I didn't feel cheated or robbed with some contrived ending (although others may argue differently). This film dealt with how being in an affair must feel, and how finding out you're being cheated on could make your react in uncharacteristic ways.

As a movie critic said, this movie will indeed make you never have an affair!
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Drama as Art...
DK Bengel3 February 2004
I have read alot of reviews here that expressed displeasure for this film based on the notion that this was basically "softcore porn for housewives" and had nothing new to offer it's audience. Ok, granted; this is not the most original film/script ever written, but I think that many reviews (both Professional and Ametuer alike) have missed the point of this film. Behind the obvious guise of a morality tale showing what can happen if you stray from your marital vows, there is a rather amazing piece of art to be seen. This film is not about marital infedelity, but, rather, about DRAMA. This is what we in the Theater refer to as Drama As Art, meaning that the plot is less important than the impact that the various plot points have on the characters, creating more and more and more drama as the story unfolds. As is the great ballets or stage plays ('Giselle', 'Whose Afraid of Virginia Wolf', 'Swan Lake' 'A Streetcar Name Desire'), the DRAMA is the star of the production, not the actors or the plot lines.

And in this respect, 'Unfaithful' excells! Watch carfully as the world slowly turns itself upside down and rips itself to shreds around these two people based on a SINGLE MOMENT IN TIME (the first scene outside of his apartment: Should she go in? Should she go home? One choice, one mopment in time, a world of difference). Based on her choice(s), the drama begins to build to a point when, at the end of the film, the DRAMA is the star, not Geer and Lane. And Drama does a fine job holding this otherwise middle-of-the-road film above the frey.
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La Femme Infidèle
Chrysanthepop15 July 2008
I wasn't expecting much from 'Unfaithful' as I thought it would be another 'The Perfect Murder' type thriller. But 'Unfaithful' is so much more than what 'The Perfect Murder' could ever be. It's deeper. It's darker. It has so many psychological layers. It's more a character driven drama rather than than plot driven. The plot may not be exactly original but it's the influence of it on the characters is what 'Unfaithful' is about. The film is very engaging as we witness the psychological effects of the consequences of Connie's decision. Lyne deserves praise for his excellent artistic execution. I loved how he used symbolism (such as metaphors and pathetic fallacies) and shows great attention to detail as is evident in the visuals. The editing is clear cut. Biziou's cinematography is great and Kaczmarek's score sets the tone. Note that during the key moments, when the main characters are conversing, the background music is absent. Richard Gere and Olivier Martinez, though a little too old, do decent jobs. However, it is Diane Lane who gives a career-defining performance. Her sublime portrayal of the incredibly sexy Connie is awesome. She carries the film. It is Diane Lane and Adrian Lyne's film. 'Unfaithful' is a magnificent engaging artistic drama. I don't understand why some were even harsh enough to call it soft-core. Do they even know the definition of soft-core? Others seem to have a problem with why Connie, who had the perfect life, would have an affair. But I feel it necessary to stress that nobody is perfect and therefore the perfect life does not exist. Connie's affair wasn't a planned thing. Who knows why it happened? Perhaps she wanted to feel younger, perhaps she was bored, or perhaps she wanted more from her husband. I don't think it was with the intention to ruin her 'perfect' life. There doesn't have to be a clear reason...as affair's don't necessarily happen for the best reasons.
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A deeply haunting and provocative masterpiece. Stunningfilm-making.
peterpemberton14 May 2002
Whoever thought that director Adrian Lyne and star Richard Gere were finished needs to see this haunting and provocative film. Because this is a stunner that will put both back on the map - big time. For all their star power though, it is the female star Diane Lane who must take huge credit for making this such an effective movie.

I've always liked Lane as an actress from when she was a kid in Francis Ford Coppola films, but she rarely got the chance to 'carry' a film. Well, she not only 'carries' UNFAITHFUL, she delivers one of the most haunting and powerful performances I have seen from an actress. Think Julia Roberts in ERIN BROCKOVICH or Ellen Burstyn in REQUIEM FOR A DREAM and you get the picture. Stunning acting.

While the committed performances are what make a great movie greater, it is Adrian Lyne who has constructed such a wonderful and effective rhythm and style to UNFAITHFUL. This is not an art-film, but it is not a blockbuster either. It lays somewhere between the two and delivers on all fronts. I was totally glued to my seat from start to finish.
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Oscar nominee Diane Lane is seductive and sexy in Unfaithful
jennifergally23 June 2003
Unfaithful was an extremely powerful movie and was much, much more than what i had expected when i rented the dvd. Diane Lane was the main reason i got this film out because i had heard so many good things about her performance and that she has won the Oscar nomination for best actress in the films main role. Well, the hype was true. The film is excellent and Diane is seductive, sexy and downright awesome as the films main focus. She proves here what many believed before... she is a beautiful and talented star capable of carrying a movie. Richard Gere gives very solid support to her and the films director really knows his game. An all around winner.
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The Ending
Warning: Spoilers
I am writing seven years after the fact to express my bafflement over the thought that the ending, which to me was as straightforward as an arrow shot from a bow, could ever be mistaken as ambiguous.

'Unfaithful' is an old fashioned morality tale, that moves in one direction almost vector-style. It is about a woman who allows a passing fancy to become an obsession, and finds the obsession devouring her entire life.

Her husband ends up murdering her lover. He at first appears to have escaped consequences, but as the movie closes, it is apparent the crime will be discovered. At the end of the movie, the couple are talking in the car about love and their lives together - then the camera pans back to show they are outside a police station. To me, the thought that some have that they may run away, may not, is out of the question. The synopsis is dead wrong. This last dialog is not hopeful, but forlorn and anguished. All that they have had is irretrievably lost, due to the wife's foolishness and her husband's anger.

Some members of the audience forget that characters in a movie are supposed to behave realistically. The couple in Unfaithful are far too entrenched in their upper middle class lives to have any genuine chance of flight. That last dialog is intended to underscore how much has been lost, and what devastating consequences the affair has had. It is NOT a discussion of possible alternative. The moment after the picture ends, the husband is going to surrender himself to the police. He really has no other choice.

To me, this ending was sad, profound, and absolutely logical, the fitting end to a picture in which there had been a great deal of commentary on the risks of infidelity.
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Very intriguing!
mattymatt4ever11 May 2002
Is this a "great" film? Is this a Oscar-winning masterpiece? I honestly do not know. I was so engrossed in the plot that I didn't have time to judge artistic value. I was glued to my seat from start to finish. This is sassy, sexy thriller that delivers the goods and then some. But the actors make it work. The chemistry between each of the characters is electric.

Though Richard Gere gets star billing, it's the beautiful Diane Lane who has the most screen time. I'm always delighted to see her beautiful face on screen, but this is her most powerful performance up-to-date. Newcomer Olivier Martinez shows great charisma. He is a very talented actor, and if he goes on with his career in American movies, he can become the next Antionio Banderas. I swear, there were moments in the film where even I felt charmed by him. Richard Gere hasn't had a successful movie in years, and hopefully he'll get back on the ball with "Unfaithful." He delivers a fine, subtle performance and though I may be out on a limb, I'll say it's one of his best.

I haven't seen any of Adrian Lyne's past work, but I know he's an acclaimed director and now that I've seen this film, I'm curious to check out "Fatal Attraction" and his other past films. He definitely knows how to set the tone. The scenes have a cohesive rhythm, and I even spotted moments of symbolism.

"Unfaithful" is an intriguing, compelling piece--a real edge-of-your-seat nail-biter!

My score: 8 (out of 10)
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Very Interesting Film
LebowskiT100031 May 2002
Warning: Spoilers
The story in this film is pretty much exactly what I expected. I really liked that they made Richard Gere out to be a perfect husband and a very loving husband. You really feel for his character when he finds out about the affair. I thought Diane Lane did a great job as always and looks better than ever, she is one gorgeous woman. I thought Oliver Martinez did a good job too, I'd never heard of him till seeing this film.

There are a few things in the film that didn't sit well with me, but they were so minor that it's not worth talking about. And the scenes that I did like made up for it. There is one scene in particular that I just loved. If you've already seen the film, it's the scene after Richard Gere finds out about the affair. Also the ending is very interesting, I won't say it's bad or it's good, but interesting. You'll see what I mean when you see the film.

I will warn you though, there are some pretty intense/graphic sex scenes in this film, so be careful who you see this film with. I'm just saying that you may feel uncomfortable watching these scenes with certain people sitting right next to you.

All in all, I thought it was a very interesting movie, and the story was told quite well. I'm not sure if I liked this film better than "Fatal Attraction", but you can tell it's the work of the same director. I hope you like the film as much as I did. Thanks for reading.

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A great performance by Diane Lane
Gary M. James8 February 2003
There is no such thing as an indifferent movie directed by Adrian Lyne. You'll either love it or hate it.

I liked "Fatal Attraction" though I prefer the original ending, not the revised, way-over-the-top, grade B shock ending. I was not impressed with his other hit "Flashdance". (I've chosen not to see "9 1/2 Weeks" and "Indecent Proposal" for various reasons.)

Many viewers have said that "Unfaithful" is simply a role reversal of Lyne's earlier hit "Fatal Attraction". It might be accurate but I don't think it's totally a fair comparison.

I felt that the affair between Connie Sumner (Diane Lane) and Paul Martel (Olivier Martinez) was just a basic physical attraction. It was a need that, for some reason, was not met with her husband. At the same time, the affair became more of an addiction for Connie. There's no love at all in that relationship. There is love between Connie and Edward (Richard Gere) but from what is presented on the screen, their love is on low tide. They certainly took each other for granted.

What impressed me the most about "Unfaithful" was that director Lyne and screenwriters Alvin Sargent & William Broyles, Jr. (adapted from Claude Chabrol's "La Femme Infidèle") did not shy away from the consequences of having an affair. There was no easy out for Connie and Edward and no tidy endings.

Gere was O.K. That's not to say he was bad. He didn't impress me very much. It was odd but rather interesting to see him play this rather drab, nerdy character. Something to consider: if the movie was remade in the late 70s or early 80s, Gere definitely would've played the other man.

I was angry at Connie for having an affair and betraying her family. I also felt some sympathy toward her: She was not a bad person. She's basically a good person who made some very bad choices.

One sequence that stood out for me (and apparently for many others) was when Connie is on the commuter train heading back home after her second encounter with Paul. Her facial expressions are so subtle but also tells more about what's going on with her with no dialog. The reactions range from excitement to anger to resignation to fear.

(In the Special Features section of the DVD, check out the interview with veteran film editor Anne V. Coates. She brings an interesting perspective on how she was able to edit the sequence.)

Diane Lane has received many well-deserved accolades for her performance. It's perhaps her best adult performance in her career which started in 1979 when she was just 14 in the wonderful comedy/drama "A Little Romance".

"Unfaithful" has a few weaknesses but luckily they are overshadowed by the film's many strengths, especially Diane Lane.
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Something we had ALREADY seen before
raysond1 June 2002
For much of his career,director Adrian Lyne has clearly had sex on the brain,or thoughts of eroticial porno,turning out huff and puff features both good(the Oscar winning Fatal Attraction and the controversial Lolita)and bad(9 1/2 Weeks and Indecent Proposal,the latter firmly cemented as one of the worst films of its decade). Happily,Unfaithful rests more toward the upper end of the spectrum;based on a 1969 French film by Claude Chabrol(La Femme Infidele),the movie sports a continental demeanor that seems wholly appreciate,but as a whole we have seen this kind of adulterated behavior several times before. Diane Lane's standout performance is what elevates the first half,which could be easily dismissed as a straight-to-cable soaper or straight-to-video softcore porno assembly. A well to do housewife seemingly content with her husband(Richard Gere,is one of his best works here and one of his finest performances since the latter part of the 80's and early 90's),her son (Erik Per Sullivan),and her home in a quaint New York(upscale Manhattan) suburb,unexpectedly enters into a torrid affair with a French book dealer(Oliver Martinez-who looks like something out of grocery store paperback novel and one of those daytime TV soap hunks). Lane's complex portrayal of a woman caught between the borders of reason and risk is simply smashing,yet eventually she's not required to carry the picture by herself,as the second half heads off in some interesting and unexpected directions that ultimately lead to the wonderful amibiguous final shot. Unfaithful works for viewers willing to put some thought into it that only works for those who want cheap thrills will probably be disappointed,but in all its a illusion of eternal bliss that will find this easily a satisfying picture.
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A solid drama
jm_boulay8 June 2002
Don't go see this movie based on the fact it's labeled a thriller. Even though it includes a murder (which is not even premeditated), it actually is a drama and centers more on the damage caused by the affair.

Unfaithful shows an emotional depth rarely found in mainstream movies, and the common nature of the subject (who hasn't seen unfaithful people around them?) makes it all the more involving for the audience. The film is an acting tour de force, especially on Diane Lane's part. Her portrayal of Constance Sumner, a housewife torn between the attraction she feels towards a predatory Frenchman (Paul Mortel, portrayed by Olivier Martinez) and the guilt she feels because of it is stunning. The scene where she returns home on a commuter train after their first sexual encounter and alternates between exhilaration and despair is unforgettable. Paul Mortel is reckless and causes her to take all sorts of risks of being discovered as their affair progresses, which makes her struggle to maintain the appearance of a normal life all the more interesting. Richard Gere also gives a good performance as the husband who crashes down to earth after first suspecting and then obtaining confirmation of what is going on.

The movie has some weaknesses. For example, I am wondering why the police detectives couldn't get a listing of the people who called at the victim's apartment on the days before the murder. They would certainly have been able to establish a connection with the murderer. The movie also does not have an explicit ending, which may not please some viewers.

However, Unfaithful is worth seeing just for the acting, and tends to sit on your mind long after you've seen it, a bit like Hitchcock's Vertigo. You'll think twice before having an affair now.
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A well observed character study made great by Diane Lane
dantheman_reynolds7 February 2003
This film is not what you expect it to be. The trailers have you thinking it's another thriller along the lines of A Perfect Murder or Fatal Attraction but it is much.much more than that. Unfaithful is a superbly directed and superbly acted character study and the tragic consequences of someone's actions. It sounds very familiar but it isn't. It's a first class and very absorbing thriller with a stand-out performance by award winner Diane Lane. In fact it is Diane Lane's unforgettable performance which lifts Unfaithful from superb to greatness. A new classic of the genre has been delivered and delivered with style and heart.
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Great cast; great direction ;great entertainment
raymond-1521 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Early in the film a violent wind storm in Manhattan (a stunning piece of cinema) brings Connie a New York suburban house wife in collision with Paul a book seller (Olivier Martinez) He notices her knee is bleeding so he invites her up to his nearby apartment so that he can dress the injury. Uncertain at first, she relents and climbs the stairs and enters his world of books. The conversation is general. The chemistry is simmering.

Diane Lane as Connie is certainly the winner in this film. She is able to portray a whole range of emotions, her excitement, her anticipation, her guilt and changing attitudes in a way that sweeps you along in the dramatic turn of events. Nervous at first in entering a stranger's apartment, she quickly departs and returns home to her husband Edward (Richard Gere) and Charlie her young son.

It's amazing how a single decision can change the course of one's life. Connie makes frequent calls to the book seller, not to buy his books but to enjoy his exciting company. Olivier Martinez with his soft French accent and smoldering smile is a real charmer. What woman would not yield to such a man? Yet Connie knows full well she is cheating on her husband. The guilt is written all over her face. It is these mixed emotions that Diane Lane can so capably project.

The husband's discovery of his wife's affair with this young book seller explodes into violent drama. Subsequent scenes with police investigators have both the husband and wife telling lies to cover up their respective activities at the book seller's.

I felt there were a few weak points in the plot. The wife seemed to me to forgive her husband's violent crime too easily. Also the body wrapped in a floor rug seemed too small and too light and too easily carried.

Various reviewers argue about who was really responsible for the whole mess. I think without doubt Connie was fully to blame. She made the wrong decision in the first place. This is admirably confirmed in the later fantasy sequence where she says "No" to the book seller when he invites her in. Also the husband blamed the wife not the young Frenchman. However Connie's wrong decision was followed by multiple visits to his apartment. Paul gave her what she wanted and she continued to be mesmerized by his ardent attention.

A worthy production not to be missed.
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Ludicrously underrated
mppullar28 March 2003
Every now and then, I read a review of a film which is so drastically different to my own reaction to it that I wonder if we have watched the same film. This is the case for almost EVERY review of "Unfaithful". Aside from the occasional positive comment that I have read by other IMDB users, and the glowing review given by Margaret Pommeranz on the (Australian) "Movie Show" (four and a half stars, if I remember correctly), this film seems to have met with either negative or ambivalent reactions from everyone. And this surprises me immensely, because I was overwhelmed by it. I expected quite a good, slightly arty film with good performances (particularly from Diane Lane, who really impressed me in Coppola's "The Cotton Club"). What I got was a film which I think will be one of my favourites for many years to come.

The criticisms that I have read of "Unfaithful" don't confuse me because they disagree with me. I can accept that - no really, I can, although I don't see how anyone could miss the brilliant acting (one user comment said that any Hollywood actress could have done Diane Lane's performance - well, I DO look forward to the J.Lo remake in a few years), or the amazing photography, this being one of the most lush and seductive films I have seen in a long time. It's the way in which the reviewers have seemingly missed the entire point of the film, or fell asleep half-way through it.

Firstly, I will concede that Connie's motivations were unclear (although I'd call it subtlety, rather than poor scripting), but they weren't as unclear as many people would have you believe. Nor did Lyne simplify the relationship between Connie and Paul (someone called him Marcel - perhaps they DID watch another movie, or just couldn't spell his surname) - in fact, I would suggest that anyone who thought Connie was willing to sleep with the first guy she met would do well to rewatch this film and see the way that her mind works (or do you need a voice-over narration in addition to Lane's phenomenal performance?). In addition to this, I have read complaints about nudity (because apparently has no place in an erotic drama/thriller), technical problems (the reviewer who mentioned this loved the movie, but had issues with constant shots of the entire microphone, shots which he/she found very hard to ignore, but which I managed to miss completely) and the apparently "cliched" narrative. In response to the latter, I don't want to give anything away, but this film, although addressing a common topic (ie. adultery), is by no means a traditional Hollywood film, and certainly doesn't treat the topic in the same way that every other film has. Many may find the ending unfulfilling, but I can't comprehend the idea of it being cloying and unoriginal. And even if the narrative itself is conventional, the way in which it is handled by cast, director and technical crew (if you can forgive the microphone shots, I suppose) puts it so far above any of its counterparts as to warrant a much warmer reception than it seems to have been given.

Diane Lane deserved the Oscar for this, without question. Unfortunately, her film came in a year when every single Best Actress nominee was of nearly equal quality. As you can see, I liked it - and wish that more people felt the same way about it. The only suggestion I can offer is that, if you have yet to see it, then don't go into it expecting a standard thriller - in fact, it can be quite slow-moving at times. But let it be what it is, because it does a damn good job at that.
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A summer blockbuster for adults
DunnDeeDaGreat18 May 2002
Adrian Lyne has succuced once again in making a film about the consquences of an affair. While the trailer leads you to belive the film is like Fatal Attraction it's nothing like it. The acting by Richard Gere is some of his best work in a long time, but the tour deforce performance in he movie belongs to Diane Lane. Lane gives an Oscar worthy performace as the wife of Gere. Diane Lane sexuality in the film is so sensual and awe insprining I would cheat with her my damn self. I highly reccomned this film.
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Affirms your faith in thrillers
davideo-225 November 2003
STAR RATING:*****Unmissable****Very Good***Okay**You Could Go Out For A Meal Instead*Avoid At All Costs

Connie and Edward Sumner (Diane Lane and Richard Gere) are a well off couple,living in the New York suburbs and raising their young son Charlie (Erik Per Sullivan).Edward,however,is the manager of a big name import/delivery service and seems to be neglecting his wife somewhat lately.On one particularly windy day,Connie has an encounter with a handsome (and much younger) stranger,who she later comes to know as Paul Martel (Olivier Martinez) a New York based book dealer who takes an instant shine to her.Before long,the pair are engaging in an outrageous adulterous fling behind Edward's back.The truly nasty twist comes,however,when Edward discovers about the affair.

This is a stylish and competent thriller.It may not perhaps have the best character development/build-up in the world,but it is really lifted no end by Gere's powerful performance as the devastated betrayed hubby,which really comes to light when he goes to confront Martinez.Adrian Lyne's direction is carried along nicely,thrilling us with many sudden twists and turns,marvellously executed and hitting the mark perfectly.***
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Saw free as a preview free - just as well it's worthless
deejtee29 May 2002
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS coming up - but hey it was spoilt already.

Well I stayed to the end - some oldies left concerned that some of the sex scenes were becoming brutal. Wasn't a full cinema unlike many previews and I soon learne why.

Gaping holes in the narrative and pictures: eg (1) 'just phoning you to find out where you are' 'oh, come over' =hangup. Durh where ARE you ? (2) Oooo I feel SO sexy let's get in the bath with you - I will be wearing my swimming trunks though!!! [NOTE to film editor, just because the male lead is over 50 you don't have to show us he won't bare all!] (3) Lovely old fashioned worn unvanished creaky floorboards so they'll be completely impervious to any bloodstains as long as I spend a few minutes rinsing them with water (4) Laurel and Hardy are the cops prepared to drive an hour out of town (each way) on a weekend to make enquires about a murder, so if I say my wife's told you everything she knows after you prove she's lying with your second question, you'll just * off and leave us to our crass 1+1+1 family life while they go back to their stage comedy routine (5)

FILMGOERS: If you want to see how a family can be affected by distance (physical or mental etc) between the couple and their children and the affect a relationship and a death can have on them and what family members are prepared to do for each other then watch the MANY HUNDREDS times better THE DEEP END.
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bczech18 July 2003
With a couple of outstanding performances and stylish filming, Unfaithful is watchable but not re-watchable. The logic of the film falls apart in the story line and through certain implausibe and inexplicable scenes. Dianne Lane is gorgeous, even when Lynne tries to show her as a semi-frumpy house wife.

The chemistry between Lane and Gere is non-existent. And Erik Per Sullivan is totally unbelievable as Gere and Lane's child.(I imagine in one scene that Lynne suggested to Sullivan "Put the collander on your head. Yeah, that'll work.") The dialog at home is cheesy and forced. In no way did I believe that Lane and Gere loved or cared about each other or their child at any point in the film. Throw into the mix the chance encounters Lane has with friends and employees from her husband's business, the way that Gere acts toward his employees and the totally lack of discretion on Lane's part and you get a forced tale of washed up cliches, sterotypes, improper casting and poor scripting.

The only saving grace in the whole movie are the voracious sex scenes and especially Lane's recollection of one in particular.

The ending...well lets just say that if a train would have came crashing through the intersection, I would have been happy.
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intriguing but flawed (spoilers)
Roland E. Zwick11 May 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Like his earlier smash hit, `Fatal Attraction,' Adrian Lyne's `Unfaithful' is a cautionary tale for would-be adulterers. More muted and less of a rabble-rouser than the previous film, this new work provides generally good, solid entertainment within the confines of its overworked genre.

In terms of the plot, `Unfaithful' is really `Fatal Attraction' viewed from the other side. In this case, it is the wife, not the husband, who becomes the philanderer, and the betrayed spouse, not the odd-angled home wrecker, who becomes the killer. Richard Gere and Diane Lane star as Edward and Connie Sumner, a seemingly happily married couple who live with their son, Charlie, in a bucolic suburb of New York City. One day, in the midst of an urban windstorm, Connie literally bumps into a handsome French hunk named Paul Martel (Olivier Martinez) with whom she ends up having an affair. Paul's nationality is probably no arbitrary plot point since the Alvin Sargent/William Broyles Jr. screenplay is based on Claude Chabrol's famous 1969 film `La Femme Infidel.'

As a director, Lyne certainly knows how to spin a good yarn, and, despite the fact that everything that occurs on the screen seems conventional and familiar, we are, nevertheless, drawn into the emotional plight that this attractive woman finds herself going through. As with all films of this type, `Unfaithful' features the obligatory scene wherein the adulterous party bumps into her gossipy girlfriends within a stone's throw of the new love interest and has to pretend that everything is hunky dory and peachy keen in her marriage. We also have the inevitable sequence in which the bold lovers are passionately making out in a restaurant while an acquaintance of the woman, unbeknownst to her, is busy taking copious mental notes of the proceedings. I also find it interesting that movies featuring female adulterers as main characters always seem to have an inordinately high number of scenes set on commuter trains. This convention goes all the way back to the 1940's and David Lean's great film `Brief Encounter' and can be seen in 1984's `Falling in Love' with Meryl Streep as well. It's just an observation, for what it's worth.

Much of the success of `Unfaithful' can be attributed to Diane Lane, who manages to make her character both believable and touching, even in those moments when she is seen as being at her least morally attractive. Though we may reject what she is doing on an intellectual level, we can certainly identify with the immense internal struggle she is going through between intense, physical passion on the one hand and a sense of duty to husband and family on the other. Had the movie been content to play out the story in a more realistic way, it might have avoided the disappointment that comes in the second half. I guess that the filmmakers felt that trying to resolve this dicey situation without resorting to melodrama would make for less of an impact at the box office, so we are confronted with the inevitable shift to a crime thriller scenario. In a way, the filmmakers are to be congratulated for at least toning down this aspect of the plot, which – as it did in `Fatal Attraction' – could easily have spiraled off into over-the-top excess. Yet, for some odd reason, the result of this subtle approach is, paradoxically, to give to the movie an unformed and unfinished feel, as it dribbles away into a lady-or-the-tiger copout ending.

Although Lane does a beautiful job capturing the subtle emotional nuances of her character, the same cannot always be said for Gere, who comes across as stiff and stodgy much of the time. Even worse is Olivier Martinez, who barely registers at all in the poorly written part of the dashing young lover. In all fairness to the actor, however, one should note that he isn't really given much to work with here. The real scene-stealer turns out to be young Erik Per Sullivan, the youngest brother from `Malcolm in the Middle,' who lights up the screen with his unaffected, good-natured charm.

It's been a long time since I've seen Chabrol's `La Femme Infidel,' but I remember feeling, as I was watching that film, that, despite the fact that the story itself was conventional and almost hackneyed, I was in the hands of a master artist who could make me see truths contained in the material that I had never perceived before. Lyne's film, though involving at times, never gets close to that level of mastery and insight. `Unfaithful' has its moments, but it ends up settling for competency at the expense of artistry.
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What's the point of this movie?
vicdru11 March 2003
Don't get me wrong, I love Diane Lane and Richard Gere, they're both very talented and versatile. But as far as this movie goes - what were they thinking? Lane - Oscar worthy? I think any actress in Hollywood could have played the same role with no problem.

Predictable? Just how many times have we seen the same movie already - if not in theaters, on Lifetime TV? The only difference being the ending - I certainly did not expect that!

I could and would NOT recommend this movie to anyone....what a snoozer!
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surely not up for an oscar
tank69-220 May 2002
I went to this movie after hearing great buzz about possible Oscar worthy scenes. The movie started off strong, but soon all the holes began to appear and the last half-hour was very ordinary and boring. The whole premise of cheating was not explained. Why if someone is leading a perfect life would they start cheating? At least they could have showed problems in the marriage, but they kept showing a loving union between Lane & Gere. Save your money and watch this on TBS, minus the steamy scenes of course.
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Formulaic fluff piece
tango117 May 2002
I am amazed at how many people actually thought this was a good movie. It's not even close to good. Its predictable, silly, and even downright boring at times.

Adrian Lyne's best? Hardly. In fact, IMO the only film Lyne has ever made that was really worth watching was Jacob's Ladder.

Yes, Diane Lane shows her body in "Unfaithful"... So what? There are other films that showcase her talent AND her body far better ("Walk on the Moon" being one of my personal favorites).

The only real shining star in this movie is Olivier Martinez, and he doesn't have much to work with here. I'd skip "Unfaithful" and see "Le Hussard sur le toit" ("Horseman on the Roof") instead.

If you simply want to be entertained & go with no expectations beyond that, you'll probably enjoy this movie well enough. But if you believe the hype that you see here on IMDB and/or in the TV ads, you WILL be disappointed. This is absolutely NOT a brilliant piece of film making, not by a long shot.

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Except for Gere, just plain awful
Swangirl10 March 2003
Warning: Spoilers
My first beef with this movie is to the marketing/ad department for making this film seem like some "suspense/thriller" that involves some element of mystery. Let me dispell that myth. There is none. The ads are basically lies.

This movie is about adultery, plain and simple. If you get a thrill from watching lots of movie sex (apparently many people here do), then this film is for you. Lane and her movie lover have plenty of it in various places all over Chicago.

Connie (Lane) and Edward Sumner (Richard Gere) seem to have it all. He's a successful engineer and she's a homemaker/Junior Leaguer. They live in the typical movie house in the movie suburbs with the typical cute movie child. That part of the comparison to Fatal Attraction is true. Only in this movie, the child is a boy and his rabbit isn't boiled. He does wear a rabbit costume in his school play, which I found hilariously ironic.

As in Fatal Attraction, a spouse has a fling for reasons that can't truly be fathomed. Edward is no slouch and is an attentive husband. The kid is too cute for words. But for some reason, she falls into instant lust with Paul, a smoldering-eyed French bookseller. And that's all it is. Lust. Oh, and he quotes from his various books, too.

At least in Fatal Attraction, Michael Douglas' character realizes he's been an idiot. Connie Sumner (Lane) never truly does. I guess that's because she's "living freely" or "soul searching". Never mind that she destroys her family and probably gave her husband herpes. This is the MOVIES where STDs or unplanned pregnancies never happen!


With little regard for her marriage or family, Connie dives into a series of "nooners" with Paul. They don't talk much but they don't need to since sex is what brings them together. She takes horrific risks and doesn't seem too concerned about it. If there had been some kind of exploration of their relationship, what made her take such risks with him, I might have enjoyed this movie. But you don't get anything like that here. Sex is the answer to Connie's woes.

Edward, bewildered at his wife's lack of focus at home and (her new sexy shoes), starts sniffing around. He doesn't confront Connie. No, he confronts Paul. And kills him with a snowglobe. His attempts to hide it and dump the body are comical. He never really gets mad at Connie. No, he's trying to protect his family. Nothing much ever gets said about Connie's infidelity. Poor thing.


Diane Lane has gotten plenty of kudos for this movie. I'm not sure why. She looks like she's having a great time having sex, especially against a bathroom wall. Does that take much talent? To some, I suppose. She gets a charge out of wearing new sexy outfits for her lover. She doesn't mind lying to her family or forgetting to pick up her son at school. I guess that's what people call "good acting" these days. Not in my book.

Gere, despite the awful script, tries to do what he can. He and the cute movie kid are about all that I liked about this film.

If you're looking for a suspense/thriller, please avoid this film. If you enjoy movies with lots of meaningless sex, you'll love this one. Then again, there's plenty of that around.
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UNFAITHFUL is the best thriller this year. A superbly acted, powerful film. Diane Lane is incredible in this.
McCormack75 June 2002
Diane Lane is a knock-out and Richard Gere shines in sexy, cool and engrossing thriller.

Adrian Lyne's Unfaithful is sensational sex-and-its-consequences melodrama at it's very best. It's a movie in which an ordinary woman from the New York suburbs, played with startling conviction and amazing range by the beautiful Diane Lane, begins to sneak away from her beautiful white dream home in the Hudson Valley, deceiving the family she loves so much in order to indulge in a cathartic sexual fling with a simply gorgeaous French hunk who's built like an Adonis. Her husband slowly suspects and then learns of the affair, and when he discovers how far it's gone, his reaction comes as as big a shock to him as it does to us.

''Unfaithful'' is a domestic thriller that's been made with so much sultry juice and power that it is bound to have you thinking and talking about it long after the end credits roll. What the film observes very, very well is the deep, rich comforts of family life aren't always enough to keep even a contented person from straying.

Connie Sumner (Lane) loves her doting, slightly fuddy-duddy security contractor husband, Edward (Richard Gere), as well as the life they share with their perky 8-year-old son. So why does she let herself be seduced by Paul (Olivier Martinez), the insinuating Gallic book dealer who rescues her from a SoHo, New York windstorm? Is it because he's the sort of philosophe stud who drops pensées like ''There's no such thing as a mistake -- there's what you do, and what you don't do''? The film refuses to offer the usual excuses (e.g., cold-fish husband), and that makes the real reason all the more compelling. Connie slides into a fling because she's a sensual woman whose contentment is tinged with complacency, and because the opportunity presents itself in a way that's too sexy to resist.

Once she gives in to Paul's charms, though, she gets addicted to them. The further he pushes her (a bit of S&M; a shag in a bistro bathroom), the further she wants to go. Lyne shoots the sex scenes like slivers of delirium that flirt with but never slide into fantasy, and Lane, in the most urgent performance of her long career, is nothing short of incredible -- a revelation. The play of lust, romance, degradation, and guilt on her face is the movie's real story. I hope the Academy remeber this performance, because it is Oscar worthy without doubt.

Diane Lane's work in the film's intriguing and gripping second half, however, wouldn't be possible without Richard Gere's own understated performance that is one of his very best. As these two circle each other, their marriage held together by the very cycle of forbidden acts that's also tearing it apart, ''Unfaithful,'' like a more languid ''Fatal Attraction,'' becomes a thriller myth of the perils of adultery, which few filmmakers can heighten like Adrian Lyne.

"Unfaithful" is a first rate, sexy, cool and engrossing Hollywood thriller that is also refreshingly intelligent. 10 out of 10 for a GREAT movie!
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