the fresh films reviews

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Unfaithful (2002)

Adrian Lyne


Erotic thriller/Drama


124 minutes

G. Mac Brown
Adrian Lyne

Screenwriters (based on La Femme infidčle by C. Chabrol):
Alvin Sargent
William Broyles Jr.

Cast includes:

Edward Sumner Richard Gere ˝
Connie Sumner Diane Lane ˝
Paul Martel Olivier Martinez
Charlie Sumner Erik Per Sullivan ˝
Bill Stone Chad Lowe ˝
Frank Wilson Dominic Chianese -
Bob Gaylord Erich Anderson -
Lindsay Michelle Monaghan -
Tracy Kate Burton ˝
Sally Margaret Colin -
Detective Dean Željko Ivanek -



During the first half of the erotic drama/thriller Unfaithful, Adrian Lyne (Foxes, Indecent Proposal, Lolita) reaches something of a zenith doing what he has tried to do for his entire career: shoot steaming hot erotic scenes enclosed in tight, palpable suspense. When the magnificent Diane Lane leaves her safe but unremarkable family life in the suburbs behind and finds a man in the city (Olivier Martinez) who represents everything she’s been longing for and missing – youthful confidence, continental sophistication, playful eroticism, and a sense of danger and mystique – she’s putting herself out there for all of us. She becomes Jesus on the cross for us, sinning for us, and it’s all photographed and told with an almost biblical universal significance by Lyne. Of course, nothing resolves neatly in Lyne’s films, and if there’s one thing that’s lagging in Unfaithful it’s that the surprising twist of doom doesn’t feel as surprising as it should have. It’s telegraphed by the picture’s revelling in its own perceived immorality. And so, this becomes a game of two halves. The inspiriting, seductive Martinez is replaced by a drained, possessive Richard Gere. And our protagonist's fiddling with immorality is replaced by a glossed over version of some of humanity’s most debased characteristics. Humans prefer chaos on the inside and order on the outside rather than vice versa, claim the filmmakers. It’s a clever and ultimately disheartening contradiction which gives the film an artistic cohesion, even if you may not walk away feeling as invigorated and inspired as you did initially. Lane’s performance is arguably the best of her entire career. The script was based on the 1969 French film La Femme infidčle.

Re-reviewed: Copyright © 08.05.2021 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
Original review: Copyright © 01.12.2003 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang