Unfaithful: Special Edition (2002)

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Released 17-Mar-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Trailer-High Crimes; Road To Perdition; One Hour Photo
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Adrian Lyne (Director)
Audio Commentary-Diane Lane (Actor) & Olivier Martinez (Actor)-Scene Specific
Alternate Ending-+/- director's commentary
Deleted Scenes-10 +/- director's commentary + introduction
Featurette-An Affair To Remember: On The Set Of Unfaithful
Featurette-Anne Coates on Editing
Featurette-Charlie Rose Interview
Interviews-Cast-Richard Gere; Diane Lane; Olivier Martinez
Gallery-Director's Script Notes (3)
Theatrical Trailer
Easter Egg-Erik sleeping
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 118:33
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (57:55) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Adrian Lyne
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Richard Gere
Diane Lane
Olivier Martinez
Erik Per Sullivan
Case ?
RPI $36.95 Music Jan Kaczmarek


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Croatian
Czech
Danish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Finnish
Hebrew
Hungarian
Icelandic
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Swedish
Turkish
English Audio Commentary
English Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Unfaithful could easily have been called "Unthinkable" (and I'll explain why). It graphically explores an illicit love affair between a bored suburban housewife and a dashing French book collector, and the terrible consequences of that affair.

    This film has a very "European" look and feel about it, despite being produced, written, directed, and acted by (mostly) Americans and being set in New York. On reflection, perhaps that is not so surprising, for illicit love affairs have been thoroughly explored by many French films, and indeed this story is loosely based on a 1969 Claude Chabrol film called "La Femme Infidčle," which itself is an update of Madame Bovary.

    This film is also directed by Adrian Lyne (who is not American, which may also explain the "European" look of the film), who is perhaps better known for his films such as “Flashdance,” “Fatal Attraction,” “Indecent Proposal” and “Lolita.” However, it is “9 1/2 Weeks” that this film most closely resembles in its exploration of the passion and the guilt behind the relationship.

    On the surface, Connie Sumner (Diane Lane) appears to be happily married to Edward Sumner (Richard Gere) and is living in an affluent suburb with one kid - Charlie (Erik Per Sullivan). However, we suspect she is feeling a bit bored and searching for some meaning in her life.

    One day, on a trip to New York City, a very gusty wind blows down on the street and scatters all her purchases. Fortunately, a very handsome young man called Paul Martel (Olivier Martinez) helps her. As a bonus, he takes her up to his apartment to show her his etchings .... actually, his books, for he is a book collector. Furthermore, he is French. Ooh la la!

    His subtle and low key seduction of Connie works. Next, Connie is arranging to meet with Paul to begin a passionate love affair.

    Slowly, inevitably, Edward starts to suspect. He hires a detective to investigate her, and eventually the horrible truth is revealed to Edward. Yes, his wife has been unfaithful. He knocks on Paul's apartment door to confront Paul, and the two men warily exchange pleasantries, each knowing exactly who the other is. Edward spies a snow globe on Paul's bedside table, a gift he has given Connie. Then suddenly, the unthinkable happens.

    Those of you who may have been expecting this moment - rest assured, I have not spoiled the ending. This is not the climax, but a turning point. The rest of the film explores the consequences of that moment, and has a very different feel to the first half of the film.

    It would have been very tempting to turn this into a psychological thriller, but thankfully the film instead explores the depth of uncomfortableness that two ordinary characters face when their world turns upside down and they are so far outside their comfort zone that they are bleeding with guilt and pain. (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) The ending is both expected and unexpected, and deliberately ambiguous, which I thought was a smart decision by the creative team.(SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read)

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a pretty flawless widescreen 16x9 enhanced transfer in it's intended aspect ratio of 1.85, based on a 35mm film print.

    Compression and video artefacts are close to non-existent, and the film source is fairly clean, with only the occasional white scratch here and there.

    Detail levels are good, and there is only the slightest hint of grain every now and then. Colours are okay, but sometimes a bit on the greyish side in many scenes, although I suspect this is intentional to create a specific "mood" for the film.

    Many of the interior shots have a slightly hazy, luminous quality about them - this is one of director Adrian Lyne's trademarks. He mentions in the director's commentary track that this is achieved using smoke.

    There are quite a number of subtitle tracks, including Croatian, Czech, Danish, English for the Hearing Impaired, Finnish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, and Turkish. In addition (and this is a welcome surprise), the two commentary tracks are also transcribed. Although the English subtitle track is supposedly for the "hearing impaired," I did not notice any dialogue attribution and the transcription of non-dialogue sounds is minimal.

    This is a single sided dual layered disc (RSDL). The layer change occurs in Chapter 13 at 57:55 - this is very well placed as the camera pauses on Connie sleeping so it should be unnoticeable on most players.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are three audio tracks on the disc: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), and two English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192Kb/s) tracks. I listened to all three tracks.

    The soundtrack is excellent, as you might expect such a recent film to have. It is slightly dull if you select THX mode (with cinema re-equalization), so it's best to listen to this in vanilla Dolby Digital.

    I expected this to be a dialogue focused film, and indeed there is of course a lot of dialogue present. However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there is quite a lot of surround activity as well, and not subtle either. I could hear the sounds of wind blowing, traffic, leaves rustling, and so forth in the surround channels, and there is subtle but effective use of low frequencies to enhance the Foley effects.

    Dialogue was pretty clear and easy to understand throughout, except at the ending where the characters are whispering to each other in the car. The level of dialogue in this scene is so low that it was difficult to make out some of the words and sentences. However, I suspect this is intentional, but I turned on the subtitles anyway to catch every word.

    I did not notice any issues with audio synchronization.

    The original music score is by Jan Kaczmarek and consists of mainly minimalist/soft piano supported by light orchestration. There was also other music used on various occasions. I found the music ravishingly beautiful and will be looking out for the soundtrack CD to buy.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    Although this is not a two-disc edition, I was very pleasantly surprised by the amount and quality of extras present on this disc. Even more importantly, the video transfer quality of most of the extras is quite good.

Menu

    The main menu is 16x9 enhanced, animated, and comes with an intro and background audio.

Trailer - High Crimes; Road To Perdition; One Hour Photo (4:32)

    Arrgh! Forced trailers!!! These play (as a single title/chapter) when you insert the DVD into the player. The trailers are presented in 1.78:1 letterboxed and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). Fortunately, pressing the "Menu" button will exit the forced playback.

Audio Commentary-Adrian Lyne (Director)

    This was recorded whilst Adrian was watching the film. He starts off (after the studio logos) by talking about the Claude Chabrol film "La Femme Infidčle" and then starts commenting on the film. He shares quite a lot of information, including his thoughts on different scenes, how certain scenes were shot, ... About the only thing I found irritating was his over-use of the phrase "You know what I mean?" tacked on after the end of a sentence. He also occasionally refers to his other films, such as Fatal Attraction and 9 1/2 Weeks.

    Watching the film again with the commentary turned on made me realise how many subtle details and little touches there are embedded in the film, and how Adrian builds each scene into a specific mood, and how lighting and music contributes to that mood. It also made me realise why I like his films so much. Adrian speaks pretty much continuously throughout the entire film apart from the opening and closing credits. I did not notice any lengthy gaps in the commentary track.

Audio Commentary-Diane Lane (Actor) & Olivier Martinez (Actor)-Scene Specific (59:40)

    This commentary track features both Diane Lane and Olivier Martinez commenting on certain scenes within the film. They are recorded whilst watching the scene (obviously) but not together it seems because I don't recall them responding to each other. Both Diane and Olivier talk about their feelings and what they were thinking whilst playing a scene, and also offer philosophical observations about the film and the plot.

    The applicable scenes/topics are:

(SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read)

    You can also choose to view all the above glued together using the magic of seamless branching into a single Title (19) which is 59:40 minutes long.

Alternate Ending-+/- director's commentary (3:10)

    This is the ending that apparently the studio wanted, which is less ambiguous than the theatrical one. All I can say is I am glad they chose the theatrical ending, which ends the film beautifully. This is presented in 1.78:1 (16x9 enhanced) and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

Deleted Scenes-10 +/- director's commentary + introduction

    These are all presented in 1.78:1 (16x9 enhanced) and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). You can view these with or without audio commentary by director Adrian Lyne. There is also an audio-only introduction to the deleted scenes by Adrian (0:51), presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

    The deleted scenes are:

    Adrian seems to be recorded at home and occasionally gets distracted. Some of his comments are quite indistinct but fortunately they have been transcribed onto a subtitle track. Adrian explains why each scene was deleted, and also what he liked about the scene. I can see why some of the decisions to cut a particular scene would have been particularly hard to do.

Easter Egg - Erik Sleeping (2:02)

    This is activated by highlighting/clicking on the word "Deleted" in the deleted scenes submenu (the word "Deleted" gets crossed when highlighted). It's an outtake of Erik ("Charlie") sleeping, presented in 1.78 letterboxed (with timecode) and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). Both Richard Gere and Diane Lane try to wake him up, unsuccessfully.

Featurette-An Affair To Remember: On The Set Of Unfaithful (15:11)

    This is presented in full frame and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). It includes excerpts from the film, behind the scenes footage, and interviews with:

    Adrian explains his technique for directing and the copious notes that he makes (some of which are included in the featurette - the DVD also includes a gallery of pages from the annotated script and notes as an extra). Adrian also talks about the casting of Richard Gere in the role. Then the various other interviewees talk about their roles and specific scenes.

Featurette-Anne Coates on Editing (8:33)

    This is presented in 1.78:1 (16x9 enhanced) and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). It features an interview with Anne Coates in the editing room. She talks about the editing process, working with Adrian Lyne, and specific scenes (the sex/train intercut, and the ending).

Featurette-Charlie Rose Interview (18:00)

    This is presented in full frame and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). It is an excerpt of Charlie Rose interviewing:

    Topics covered include differences between this film and "La Femme Infidčle," character motivations, Connie's train scene, symbols and subtexts, the ending, and the confrontation between Edward and Paul. Three excerpts from the film are also presented.

Interviews-Cast-Richard Gere (5:24); Diane Lane (9:20); Olivier Martinez (7:05)

    These are all presented in full frame and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). They consist of a series of monologues from members of the cast talking about various topics. Richard seems to be talking mostly about philosophy and the film, Diane and Olivier both talk about their lives and careers.

Gallery-Director's Script Notes (3)

    These are a set of stills, each containing an image from the director's typewritten notes (with pictures) accompanying a scene, and pages of the script annotated with the director's notes, for the following three scenes:

Theatrical Trailer (2:18)

    This is presented in 1.78:1 letterboxed and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    Both versions have similar extras, and there is no compelling reason to prefer one over the other, though the additional subtitle tracks on the R4 version are useful.

Summary

    Unfaithful is an Adrian Lyne film starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane which explores the consequences of marital infidelity on a suburban family.

    The video and audio transfers are excellent.

    The extras are very generous and worth watching.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Thursday, May 22, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RP82, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE (upgraded)
SpeakersFront and surrounds: B&W CDM7NT, front centre: B&W CDMCNT, surround backs: B&W DM601S2, subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

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