In Adrian Lyne’s sensational adultery thriller, Connie Sumner (Diane Lane), an ordinary wife and mother from the New York suburbs, begins to sneak away from her beautiful white dream home to indulge in a cathartic sexual fling with a weaselly French hunk (Olivier Martinez). The film refuses to offer the usual excuses for her behavior, and that makes it all the more compelling. Lyne has staged Unfaithful with a slow, forbidden-game meditative savvy that allows the audience to linger over each dread-ridden secret and lie. Lane is a revelation — the play of desire and guilt on her face is the movie’s real story — but her performance wouldn’t be possible without Richard Gere’s own understated duplicity as the husband.
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