Adrian Lyne is obsessed with the idea of inappropriate relationships, having previously directed '9 1/2 Weeks,' 'Fatal Attraction,' 'Indecent Proposal,' and 'Lolita.' 'Unfaithful' tells the story of a middle-aged wife and mother named Connie (Diane Lane) who makes an impulsive leap into infidelity when on a trip into the city on a windy day, leading her to a steamy love affair with a younger man (Oscar Martinez). Her husband, Ed (Richard Gere), subsequently grows suspicious and heads down the spiral of mistrust and confusion having previously thought he was living the perfect life.
On paper it sounds like a Lifetime movie, but the film begins to step out of B-movie status when Ed hires a private investigator and sees exactly what his wife is up to. He had noticed the telltale signs, but needed to know what he wanted to deny. When Ed ultimately confronts his wife's lover, he is overcome with emotion and acts completely out of character. Afterwards, the real test of the marriage begins.
The film offers a sad and depressing look into suburban life and marriage, showing how still and neutral life can become for some. Yet outside of living out a steamy tryst through film, what else does Unfaithful offer? Well, to be honest, not much, outside of being a conversation starter. Can a marriage sustain after a major strain such as this? Could it actually be repaired or strengthened? Or is it simply on a one-way course for destruction?
Lane enjoyed a big career boost after playing Connie (the part garnered an Oscar Nomination), showing her ability to display a woman's sensuality, desire, and inner turmoil, while communicating the fear, fragility, and embarrassment of indulgence. Her non-verbal communication and body language spoke louder than her dialogue, and that is the biggest reason to watch the film. Gere plays the straight up husband and father well, and they do a good job of shlubbing him up, making him look as far from a leading man as I've seen. Besides these two performances, the story is full of very familiar takes on infidelity, and if it weren't Lane and Gere, would this be a film revisiting? Honestly, no.
Unfaithful's 1080p AVC-encoded transfer ofers a solid upgrade from the previously released DVD. Lyne's warm and muted palette was downplayed in previous versions, but here it looks striking. Skin tones (and there's a lot of skin) look natural, enriched in warm colors. There are no problems with over-saturation or distracting edge enhancement. Shadows and depth are both very good with lots of detail coming out, like Paul's apartment which is a book store and has lots of little junk scattered about. Lots of scenes do have a soft quality to them, which is due to the way those scenes were shot. There's also a fine bit of grain in the film that's pleasing to the eye. There aren't any noticeable weaknesses in the video that jump out. It's subtle and low key like everything else.
Unfaithful carries a 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio track highlighted with low-key and softly spoken dialogue. It's always clear no matter the volume. Traveling sound, especially in the city is surprisingly active given the rest of the film. The swirling winds that knock Connie off her feet in the beginning of the film swirl all around the viewer. Street noise like traffic and idol chatter put you into the city scenes immediately. Subwoofers don't get an aggressive workout, but it's definitely there throughout the film to add subtle weight to scenes. And the even-keeled score is mixed appropriately to add emotion at just the right time. There are also French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks.
Everything has been ported over from the DVD release which had quite an abundant bunch of supplements, always a nice surprise on a small film such as this. Nothing ground-breaking but if you're a fan of the film there's plenty to explore.
Unfaithful is okay, but similar themes have been covered in other, better films. However, this Blu-ray is a fine upgrade from the DVD, offering strong picture and audio and a nice number of extras. Give it a rent.