HTF REVIEW: "Unfaithful" (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Nov 17, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein


    Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
    Year: 2002
    Rated: R
    Film Length: 124 Minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.85:1)
    Subtitles: English and Spanish

    Adrian Lyne has certainly established himself
    as one of Hollywood's leading Directors with such
    films as Flashdance, Jacob's Ladder, 9 1/2 weeks,
    Fatal Attraction
    and Indecent Proposal.
    He seems to have an uncanny knack for making
    sexually provocative films that often deal with
    infidelity, the destruction of family, and even
    murder. Although it seems that Lyne felt it
    necessary to revisit familiar stomping ground so
    similar to his 1987's Fatal Attraction, he
    never quite deliveres the same punch.
    Connie Sumner (Diane Lane), an apparently happily
    married suburban mom, literally bumps into dashing
    young Frenchman Paul Martel (Olivier Martinez) on
    the streets of New York City’s SoHo district during a
    windstorm. He's a young French, sweet looking
    slickster who preys on her vulnerability. When
    she falls and scrapes her knees, he immediately
    takes the opportunity to "rescue" Connie by
    inviting her up to his loft. Connie and Paul make
    passionate love in his apartment, the corridor
    outside, a restaurant, and even a cinema.
    Unsurprisingly, husband Edward (Richard Gere)
    instinctively senses his wife is having an affair.
    His gut reaction is confirmed when he hires a private
    detective to spy on his wife. Soon Connie's warm
    and safe world slowly begins to fall apart.
    Unfaithful falls very short of the elements
    that made Fatal Attraction a cringe-inducing
    world-wide success. Perhaps it's because Lyne has
    matured over the years, completely toning down his
    act. What we have here is a rather foul and sad
    tale of a marriage falling apart in which everyone
    is a loser. Despite this fact, the film does manage
    to remain entertaining, showing that while the
    Director has become kinder and gentler, he hasn't
    lost his form for making engrossing films that slowly
    build up momentum, delivering a nerve-wracking climax.
    Richard Gere is also at the top of his game here
    as the cuckolded husband. This is one of his best
    performances in recent years. I was disappointed that
    we really never got to see much of actor Dominic
    Chianese (The Sopranos), who gets less than 5 minutes
    of screen time here.
    How is the transfer?
    This transfer certainly does do its best dealing
    with Lyne's stylized photography that contain fog
    and natural light. Many of his scenes are filmed
    way too softly, and others take on a hazed look that
    prevents this transfer from ever looking sharp or
    detailed. You can't complain, however, as this is
    how the director wanted the movie to be filmed.
    Despite this, colors do manage to peak very nicely
    such as with the deep green foliage that surrounds
    the Sumner's suburban home, or the blue sweater
    that Connie gives her husband. In all, this warm
    transfer is extremely good, and there is no evidence
    of film grain or blemish to be seen anywhere.
    The 5.1 surround mix never becomes obtrusive here,
    nicely complimenting the screen action. The film is
    mostly dialogue heavy, and all of that is represented
    clearly across the front channels. There are two
    things you will notice the most about the rear
    surrounds....first, there's the beautifully haunting
    piano and choral driven score by Jan Kaczmareck that
    envelopes the entire sound field. Then, there's
    the surrounding wind and rain that practically
    place you in the middle of nature's worst elements.
    Special Features
    First up is a full-length commentary by
    Director Adrian Lyne. Lyne is absolutely in love
    with French cinema and the fact that it examines
    relationships. He was a huge fan of Les Femmes
    , and was very happy to have made a
    film that is only loosely based on that film.
    Throughout this commentary, Lyne compares the two
    films and points out the many changes he made in
    the main characters. He also talks about the risks
    he had with the storyline, and the importance of
    having the audience remain sympathetic to both Connie
    and Edward's relationship. Listening to Adrian
    describe each of these scenes is a great compliment
    to the film for the fact that he really delves into
    what is going through the mind of his characters at
    every turning point of the film. Why does Connie
    let this affair drag on? Adrian suggests its the
    danger of being caught that excites her. In addition,
    the director often talks about how meticulously he
    thought about blocking each of his scenes the night
    before they were shot, and the specific camera angles
    that were going to be used. Be sure to listen to
    this commentary after you have watched the
    film as Adrian does spoil the film's ending very
    early on.
    There's also screen-specific commentary by actors
    Diane Lane and Olivier Martinez. Among the topics
    discussed are auditions, working with the director
    and the film's co-stars. Both actors also give their
    individual viewpoints on what their characters were
    thinking at various intervals in the film.
    An Affair ro remember: On the set of Unfaithful
    begins with director Adrian Lyne talking about his
    doubts of remaking the french film Les Femmes
    , but he did, introducing his own unique
    style and flavor. We don't hear too much about the
    original film that this remake is based upon, but we
    do get some insight into how Lyne references his
    film material and how some of his most startling
    film images are provoked. There are interviews
    here with Richard Gere as well as Diane Lane, who
    was very happy to play Gere's wife -- especially
    since they had enjoyed a long friendship since their
    initial pairing in The Cotton Club. We
    certainly get our fair share of behind-the-camera
    material here which includes a segment on how
    difficult it was to work amongst 8 wind machines
    that provided poor communication as well as lots
    of sore throats the following day. From listening
    to Gere talk about Lyne, you almost get the idea
    that times between the two were often difficult on
    the set. Gere refers to Lyne as having a bulldog
    approach, often demanding up to 25 takes of a
    particular scene. Everyone seems to agree, however,
    that this approach seems to bring out the very best
    in the all his actors.
    (length: approx. 15 minutes)
    There are eleven deleted scenes that begin
    with an optional audio introduction by Adrian Lyne,
    which comes directly from France (where he lives when
    he is not shooting). There's nothing much here other
    than for the Mr. Lyne to warn you that he may be a
    bit rusty remembering these scenes since a long time
    has passed since they were filmed. Let me give you
    a highlight of what is included here:
    * A scene where Connie tucks her son into bed was
    cut due to the fact that there were other such scenes
    already in the film.
    * A chance meeting between Connie and Paul
    on a train ride.
    * An interesting scene at the cinema where both
    Connie and Paul do a little playful acting prior
    to their sex scene.
    * A dinner party at a dining room table is
    practically ignored by Connie and Edward who
    exchange uneasy glances.
    * A red light. A parked car. A couple undecided
    about their future. A slightly different, more
    pronounced ending for this film is offered.
    There's an option to play audio commentary with
    Adrian Lyne during these deleted scenes, and I highly
    recommend that you do so.
    Anne Coates on Editing spends some time with
    the stealth collaborator and friend to many of the
    world's finest directors including Sidney Lumet,
    David Lynch, Milos Forman, Lawrence Kasdan and
    Steven Soderbergh. Anne talks about the importance
    of bringing something fresh and different to her
    films, and insisted to Adrian Lyne that she be able
    to do just that for Unfaithful. As Anne
    takes us through some unedited takes, we learn how
    her opinions of the film's edit greatly differed
    from that of Adrian's. This is quite an interesting
    featurette -- especially for the fact that Anne
    comes across as being very modest, not particularly
    crediting herself as being overly talented. She feels
    that perhaps she has gift for editing, but nothing
    beyond that.
    (length: approx. 9 minutes)
    There are three separate interviews from The
    Charlie Rose Show presented here. First, Richard
    Gere talks about bad things that happen to good
    and decent people who don't communicate with each
    other. This is obviously one of the many layers
    that makes up this film. Diane Lane talks
    about her father that was involved in show business
    during the 50s. It was actually an unintentional
    Christmas joke that led a very young Diane to her
    first performance in a play. From there she talks
    about her early days in theater on up to her early
    film career working with great directors like Francis
    Ford Coppola. Olivier Martinez talks a
    little about his family who were mostly Boxers.
    After a motorcycle accident, Olivier looked into
    taking acting classes and ended up in a theatrical
    school. Success came very quick, and Olivier is
    not shy to admit how easy life became for him
    (length: approx. 21 minutes)
    This is something you don't find in DVD supplements
    too often, and it's a very welcome addition here.
    Director's Script Notes gives you the
    opportunity to use your DVD remote and browse through
    pages of script that relate to three important
    sequences in the film. As you go through these pages,
    you'll see many scribblings from Mr. Lyne, often
    describing how the scene should be acted out. It's
    a nice way to see visually what Mr. Lyne was
    envisioning in his head.
    In addition to the film's original theatrical
    trailer there are trailers for Daredevil
    and Dancer Upstairs. It's really cool to
    see Fox continue to include upcoming theatrical
    trailers like this in their DVD releases. Thank You!
    Final Thoughts
    Though Adrian Lyne has failed to give us the
    conflicts and thrills that made Fatal Attraction so
    enticing, it's very hard to resist this erotic
    thriller with its powerful images and sensual
    story line. Do yourself a favor, however...don't
    go looking to watch this film if you are searching
    for inspirational material to work on your troubled marriage.
    Worth a rental. You may buy it afterwards.
    Release Date: December 17, 2002
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator

    Jun 30, 1999
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    So, Ron, did it live up to its one hour teaser "trailer" we saw at Fox a couple of months ago? [​IMG]
    If it's affordable, I may spring for this DVD, Diane Lane is really good in this film.
  3. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

    Dec 15, 2001
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    [​IMG] I'm looking forward to seeing this. As always, thanks for the review, Ron.
  4. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

    Jun 9, 1999
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    Real Name:
  5. NickFoley

    NickFoley Stunt Coordinator

    May 5, 2002
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    My girlfriend liked this one alot, so she'll be picking it up.
  6. Martin Jeeves

    Martin Jeeves Supporting Actor

    Oct 18, 2000
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    I thought this was a great film. I'd love to see Diane Lane finally get an Oscar nomination and some much deserved recognition for her performance in this. The DVD sounds a winner! I'm getting it for sure.

    Thanks for the review, Ron!
  7. Martin Jeeves

    Martin Jeeves Supporting Actor

    Oct 18, 2000
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    Roughly how long is the Diane Lane / Olivier Martinez commentary? Is it most of the film?

    Thanks again.
  8. Martin Jeeves

    Martin Jeeves Supporting Actor

    Oct 18, 2000
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    Are the supplements and deleted scenes in good quality anamorphic or are they in poor shape? Please answer if you get a chance.

    I also wondered how long the Diane Lane commentary was.

  9. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    The actor commentaries are relatively short,
    divided into specific categories that play over
    the beginning portions of the film.

    Without popping in the DVD again, I can only tell
    you that the deleted scenes are in great shape. As
    for being anamorphic? That I am unsure of, as I do
    most of the supplemental reviews on my office TV
    (which is 4:3) rather than my Home Theater set.

    Hope this helps you somewhat.
  10. Martin Jeeves

    Martin Jeeves Supporting Actor

    Oct 18, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Thanks Ron!

    Glad that the deleted scenes look good and that the supplements are off good quality.

    I loved this film so will be picking it up as soon as it streets. I've been a fan of Diane Lane since "Streets of Fire" in 1984 and this is her best performance yet I think. Great movie!

    Thanks again for the heads up!
  11. Martin Jeeves

    Martin Jeeves Supporting Actor

    Oct 18, 2000
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    Sorry Ron - one last thing.

    Are the interviews and the Charlie Rose Show interviews the same thing or different. As I had heard that the disc had both a Charlie Rose interview with Diane Lane, Richard Gere and Adrian Lyne TOGETHER, AND three seperate long interviews with Lane, Gere and Martinez. Any chance of clarification on this point. Apologies but it doesn't point that out in your excellent review.


  12. Elizabeth S

    Elizabeth S Producer

    May 9, 2001
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    Real Name:
    Elizabeth S
    I've been following Diane Lane's career since "A Little Romance" and think she deserves an Academy Award nomination for this role. (Though I highly doubt she'll get it because of the "Adrian Lyne film" tag and the short memories of voters.) Without her nuanced performance, the film would have felt like mere exploitation. That scene on the train after her first tryst with Paul is remarkable, just watching the plays of emotion across her face. I am definitely getting the DVD.
    Thank you for the review! [​IMG]
  13. Jenna

    Jenna Second Unit

    Feb 12, 2002
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    I loved this movie and will definitely be picking up the DVD for my collection. Personally, I was relieved that the film didn't play too much like "Fatal Attration Part II". It had a much softer, more erotic edge to it, thanks to the brilliant performance by Diane Lane (who will be probably be robbed of an Oscar nomination for it).

    I've been anticipating this DVD since I left the theater...and can't wait to curl up by the fire and watch it with a glass of wine on a snowy, blustery day.
  14. Rob Tomlin

    Rob Tomlin Producer

    Jan 8, 2000
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    I will have to at least give this one a rental.
    Some trivia: Diane Lane had a Worker's Compensation claim for an injury to her back that was apparently sustained during the course of one of the sex scenes!
    If that doesn't make you want to check this one out, what will? [​IMG]
  15. Martin Jeeves

    Martin Jeeves Supporting Actor

    Oct 18, 2000
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    Yes, I too thought that this film was far different from "Fatal Attraction 2" than some think. Many think it's the same film but with the roles reversed but I thought that "Unfaithful" was more of a character study and examination of a marriage on the rocks from one woman's actions. The acting was superb and the direction stylish. It's somewhat uncommercial tone may put some off but personally I liked it as much as "Attraction" only different.
    It is definatelt worth a rental. The love scenes are excellent and very well done but they aren't all that "Unfaithful" offers. The film is far more than a skin flick (although you do see some Diane Lane!).
    With regards to Diane Lane's Academy Award chances this may be of interest, as Fox are about to start a big campaign for her apparently. I for one think she will be AT LEAST nominated possibly more. Time will tell. Here's the link:
    Lastly, "Unfaithful" just passed $120 million worldwide so I guess alot of people are going to see the thing regardless of it's uncommercial even "arty" tone.
    Check it it. I think people will be surprised by it's power and the way it lingers on the conscience. The DVD looks a cracker too!
  16. Trevor Bateman

    Trevor Bateman Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 2, 2002
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    sounds like an awesome dvd!

    is the 'affair to remember' doc the same as the hbo first look featurette that was shown when the film was released theatrically in may?
  17. Rickhard Copley

    Mar 9, 2002
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    I loved FATAL ATTRACTION, but I actually prefer UNFAITHFUL. I'm pleased FOX are giving it such good treatment on DVD.
  18. Trevor Bateman

    Trevor Bateman Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 2, 2002
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    is the 'affair to remember' doc the same as the hbo first look featurette that was shown when the film was released theatrically in may? anyone?
  19. Glenise

    Glenise Supporting Actor

    Feb 5, 2001
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    I haven't seen the movie, I'm female.
    Who would cheat on Richard Gere?
    Who would go to a stranger's house after falling down?
    I know it's just a movie.
    I cant wait for this one.
    I'll also be picking up Trios 2: Pandora's Box next month.
  20. Trevor Bateman

    Trevor Bateman Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 2, 2002
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    I'd cheat on Richard Gere for Diane Lane[​IMG]

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