Unfaithful (2002) Poster


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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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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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