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UNFAITHFUL

SYNOPSIS:
The Sumners, Edward (Richard Gere) and Connie (Diane Lane) live with their 9 year old son, a housekeeper and a dog in the outer suburbs. He runs a business, she runs errands and upmarket fundraisers. Ordinary. One day in Soho, she literally falls for Paul Martel (Olivier Martinez), a young French book dealer, during a New York wind storm. Drawn to Paul, Connie begins a reluctant but passionate affair, even though she loves her husband and her family intensely. Edward begins to sense something and inevitably, finds out; the repercussions are shattering and tragic, leaving everyone badly damaged, or worse. Can anything be salvaged?

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
I am a demanding, critical Adrian Lyne fan, and with Unfaithful, he doesn't disappoint. More mature than Fatal Attraction, more complete than Indecent Proposal and more relevant than 9 Weeks, Unfaithful is at once intimate and universal cinema. He acknowledges a debt to Claude Chabrol's La Femme Infidele (1968), but this is really a Lyne film, intense, intimate and observant to the point of obsession. But good obsession. We are inside these characters' minds and hearts, we sense the duplicity and complexity of the human condition, we understand enough to withhold judgement. Much of that, of course, is thanks to his actors, the three central figures in what is, until the final catastrophic act, basically a suburban drama played out countless times around the world in varying detail. What elevates it all to cinematic heights is the veracity of observation and truthfulness of performance. As Lyne says in his 'liner' notes to the film, he's interested in the details of deception and suspicion. So are we. And in the process, he invites the audience to climb inside the souls of these people, and manages to confuse us as to which are the more guilty. As a result, Unfaithful is as good a film about love as it is about the betrayal of it.

Review by Louise Keller:
I love film titles that are short and to the point. Unfaithful - the title makes its point - but as we all know, it's the 'how' that's important. And in the deft hands of director Adrian Lyne, who has been exploring sexual obsession from different angles throughout his distinguished career, in such works as Fatal Attraction, 9 weeks, Indecent Proposal and Lolita, we can be assured of an intense experience. Taking its genesis from master New Wave French director Claude Chabrol's La Femme Infidele, Unfaithful is a potent, character-driven story that is perfectly cast - loving husband with perfect wife who is seduced by enigmatic, charming Frenchman in a chance encounter. In addition to the three central characters, music plays a key role, adding a mellow, thoughtful yet provocative flavour to the mix. The juxtaposition of using beautiful, calm melodic passages while emotional turmoil is rife is a powerful tool indeed, adding a restrained edginess. The role of Connie for Diane Lane is not so far removed than that of her acclaimed Pearl, in A Walk on the Moon. Lane revels in the role, shimmering like an innocent in the flush of first love. Olivier Martinez is suitably sensual, and we girls (at least) understand the appeal of this mystery man whose flirtations appear as natural as the wind. But the revelation is Richard Gere, whose 'ordinary' husband is so un-Gere like, that his performance from subdued taken beyond his comfort zone to the heights of passion, is a work of art. Through Gere's Edward, we understand the boundaries of the Sumners' lives, and genuinely ache for him as he senses the tell-tale signs and changes in his wife from the very beginning. Although at first glance, the theme may suggest parallels with films of female infidelity, for me, there are greater resonances here with films such In the Bedroom and The Deep End, whose revelations come more from the intensity evoked by events. Everything works - from the script, to raising issues for which there are no easy answers. Unfaithful is a gripping and perceptive film that shreds the layers of superficiality. It's an engrossing look at human behaviour and emotional response. Don't miss it!

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

TRAILER

UNFAITHFUL (MA)
(US)

CAST: Diane Lane, Richard Gere, Olivier Martinez

PRODUCER: G. Mac Brown, Adrian Lyne

DIRECTOR: Adrian Lyne

SCRIPT: Alvin Sargent, William Broyles Jr. (screenplay); Claude Chabrol (film La Femme Infidele)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Biziou

EDITOR: Anne V. Coates

MUSIC: Jan A.P. Kaczmarek

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Brian Morris

RUNNING TIME: 125 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 11, 2002







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