The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2002
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 123 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Thai
Starring: Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Olivier Martinez, Erik Per Sullivan
Directed by: Adrian Lyne
Music by: Jan A.P. Kaczmarek
Written by: Alvin Sargent & William Broyles Jr.
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 27, 2009
"Where do you go when you've gone too far?"
Richard Gere and Diana Lane get caught in a web of passion and pain in the steamy erotic thriller from Adrian Lyne. Edward (Richard Gere) and Connie Sumner (Diane Lane) have the perfect life: a happy marriage, an eight-year-old son and a beautiful house in the suburbs. But when Connie's chance encounter with a handsome stranger (Olivier Martinez) erupts into a full-blown affair, desire becomes obsession, and the true price of betrayal takes a shattering toll.
I saw Unfaithful during its theatrical release and have been a fan ever since. The story is paced perfectly as Director Adrian Lyne carefully draws you in and begins putting together the pieces of the puzzle. That is not meant to imply that this is a puzzle but rather a series of events that when gathered resemble a clearly drawn portrait that is now fractured. Connie Sumner is an attractive thirty something housewife with a successful, loving husband and an eight year old son. She seemingly has it all, or does she? She and husband Edward are in love but there doesn't appear to be any passion/fire in their relationship. He is a good man who is satisfied with the everyday routine of their lives. Connie stays busy with their son Charlie and her club fund drives/activities etc. When she accidentally bumps into Paul Martel during a windy day in the city she isn't prepared for what happens. He is young, handsome, impulsive and attracted to her, which she finds alluring. When he innocently flirts with her Connie is drawn to him in a way that is nearly insatiable. She makes an overt act that sets off a passionate love affair that leaves Connie barely able to focus on anything else. It soon becomes evident to Edward that something is amiss when he accidentally catches her in a lie and begins noticing that she is having trouble managing her time. Connie is so engrossed in the affair that she becomes careless. This sets off the events mentioned earlier that culminate in heartbreak, betrayal, and potentially devastating results for everyone involved.
Diane Lane and Richard Gere do a terrific job in this film. Connie is someone who has a deep need that goes unnoticed by Edward. It was evident that she herself didn't realize it until the moment she met Paul Martel, however this doesn't excuse her willing participation in the affair. Edward is a complex individual who adores his family. He reserved his ardor for work related matters and at home took more of a dispassionate, laid back approach. Both of them were unprepared for how to cope with their feelings when faced with the circumstances that arise out of Connie's meeting with Paul and eventual love affair. The result is a pot that subsequently boils over (at separate times) for each of them and leads to dire circumstances that will forever affect them. Connie isn't a very likeable character but Lane's portrayal makes her a sympathetic one. One of my favorite scenes is when she sits on the train after her first sexual encounter with Paul. She is filled with a range of emotions and is having trouble controlling them as she reflects back on what just happened. Richard Gere's strongest moment came in the second act when he visits Paul's apartment. He played that scene perfectly in my opinion. This isn't the first film that Lane and Gere have done together. They were both in 1984's The Cotton Club and made a good team in that film as well. Adrian Lyne uses subtle yet effective camera pans and close ups to draw the viewer into certain scenes which enhances dramatic perspective. Sexuality is depicted in way that is direct but not overstated to a point that it detracts from the film's primary focus. His decision to end the film the way he did bothered me initially (and still does somewhat) but it leaves interpretation up to the audience which provides food for thought. I have owned Unfaithful on DVD since it release and have seen it 3 or four times now. I think its value isn't so much in the subject matter but is in how well Gere and Lane play these carefully drawn and fallible people.
The rating is for sexuality, partial nudity, language, and a scene of violence.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Unfaithful makes its debut on Blu-ray from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 30 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.1 mbps.
This disc offers excellent high definition video and from what I recall, has a filmic quality that emulates its theatrical presentation. There is a light veil of grain that adds subtle but noticeable texture to the video but never appears noisy even in the soft lighting and sometimes hazy appearance of Paul's apartment and the interior of the Sumner home. The color range isn't a diverse one and keeps more toward dark and/or neutral tones used in the clothing and sets. Occasional use of brighter elements such as the lush gradational greens in the grass and foliage around the Sumner house added some life to the palette. Flesh tones were beautifully rendered with lifelike quality that featured subtle textures and rosy complexions. Images were nicely detailed and exhibited discerning fine articulation that brought out distinguishing degrees of nuance in facial features, clothing and objects during close ups. Long range shots were two dimensional in depth, with resolute sharpness and clearly defined structure. An example of this can be seen during the scene where Edward stands on the street outside of Paul's apartment. The camera's viewpoint is looking down the street from above. I was able to clearly see the uneven surface of the cobblestone street and the rough texture of the steel railing leading up the stairs to the apartment building. Looking down the street further revealed subtle yet appreciable visual perception of the physical characteristics of objects such as cars, people or buildings within the frame. Blacks had excellent dynamic range and depth with slightly less gradational quality than the best that I have seen. Detail in low light and dark areas was good enough to offer a sense of depth but wasn't definitely resolvable. This is clearly the best that this film has looked on home video and perhaps altogether.
The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio sound is more than capable of handling the elements in this dialogue driven film. Voices are crisp, well intonated, and lucid through the center channel. The centerpiece of the film's soundtrack is its score which helps set the mood/tone and Jan Kaczmarek's beautifully crafted music sounded superb. Everything from the soft yet definitive stroke of the piano keys, to the airy, highly detailed blend of instrumentation had an aurally stimulating presence that resounded through the room. Surround activity is limited mostly to spatial ambience but its use creates an immersive atmosphere that washes over the listening position and sounds great.
- Commentary by Director Adrian Lyne
- Actor's scene specific commentary by Olivier Martinez and Diane Lane
- (HD) 11 deleted scenes, including an alternate ending - with optional commentary by Adrian Lyne
- An affair to remember: On the set of Unfaithful - 15 minute featurette
- Anne Coates on editing - 9 minute featurette
- Charlie Rose interview - Diane Lane, Richard Gere, and Adrian Lyne - 19 minutes
- A conversation with Diane Lane, Richard Gere, Olivier Martinez - (selectable) 5 minutes each
- Director's script notes - Photo gallery
- Theatrical trailer
- Outtakes with commentary
- <(HD) Fox on Blu-ray - Deception trailer
Unfaithful, tells a story that has been told many times both in real life and onscreen. I enjoy watching Diane Lane and Richard Gere play this unsuspecting couple who never imagined that something like this could happen to them. Once it does it spirals out of control which results in a devastating turn of events. This is a movie that has replay value for me and I am happy to report that its Blu-ray Disc presentation from Fox is up to snuff. It has never looked or sounded better and include all of the bonus features from the 2002 DVD release. If you're a fan this is a worthy upgrade. If you have never seen Unfaithful give it a rent and go from there.
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