Unbridled passion and desire are the driving forces behind Connie Sumner's unfaithfulness to her husband. What makes this film so interesting is that there is no indication of an unhappy marriage. Connie and Edward talk and spend time together. They have a beautiful home and a nine year old son who they both love dearly.
Review by David Bruce


This page was created on May 10, 2002
This page was last updated on May 29, 2005

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Directed by Adrian Lyne
Writing credits
Film --La Femme Infidele: Claude Chabrol
Screenplay: Alvin Sargent and William Broyles Jr.

Diane Lane .... Connie Sumner
Erik Per Sullivan .... Charlie
Richard Gere .... Edward Sumner
Olivier Martinez .... Paul Martel
Myra Lucretia Taylor .... Gloria
Michelle Monaghan .... Lindsay
Chad Lowe .... Bill Stone
Joseph Badalucco Jr. .... Conductor
Erich Anderson (I) .... Bob Gaylord
Damon Gupton .... Other Businessman
Kate Burton (I) .... Tracy
Margaret Colin .... Sally

Produced by
G. Mac Brown .... producer
Adrian Lyne .... producer
Lawrence Steven Meyers .... executive producer
Arnon Milchan .... executive producer
Pierre Richard Muller .... executive producer

Original music by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek
Cinematography by Peter Biziou
Film Editing by Anne V. Coates

MPAA: Rated R for sexuality, language and a scene of violence
For rating reasons, go to FILMRATINGS.COM, and MPAA.ORG.
Parents, please refer to PARENTALGUIDE.ORG

Unfaithful (Score)
Jan A. P. Kaczmarek

CD Info
27 in x 40 in
Original Movie Poster plain, or
Framed | Mounted


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Click to enlargeEdward and Connie Sumner are a wonderfully-maintained middle-aged couple living the American dream. Together with their eight-year-old son, a dog and a housekeeper, they share an enviable life in the suburbs of New York City. But no life goes unchallenged: This happy marriage, dampened by the routines of affluence, falls prey to an outsider when Connie has a fateful collision with a stranger on a Soho street. It's an encounter which assaults her with mystery, spontaneity, charm and risk. It will pull Connie into an affair which will become her obsession.

Click to enlargeWhen Edward innocently learns that his wife has lied to him, suspicion propels him to uncover the devastating details of her infidelity. Tormented by the knowledge, he confronts her lover, only to discover a level of rage within himself that he could never have imagined.

Can a marriage so infected by deceit, guilt and anger find a way to recover?

By David Bruce

Click to enlargeUnbridled passion and desire are the driving forces behind Connie Sumner's unfaithfulness to her husband. Click to enlargeWhat makes this film so interesting is that there is no indication of an unhappy marriage. Connie and Edward talk and spend time together. They have a beautiful home and a nine-year-old son whom they both love dearly.

Again there are no reasons given for Connie's unfaithfulness.

Click to enlargeIt all begins one day as the wind is blowing. It is the season of winter. Connie is trying to get a cab in downtown Soho and accidentally runs into Paul Martel and skins her knee as they fall. He invites her up to his apartment, which just happens to be right there, for a Band-Aid and a cup of tea. First she says no Click to enlargeand then she accepts. The winds seem to represent the winds of change and winter seems to represent the impending death of former things.

Click to enlargeConnie has allowed herself to respond to romantic passion even though it is against her better judgment. Her choice to do what she knew wasn't right is part of the human dilemma. The Apostle Paul characterized this human condition brilliantly when he said, "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. " --Romans 7:19

Click to enlargeThere are moments in our lives that change everything about our life. Connie embarks on one of those moments in which her decision changes the rest of her life significantly and more. It changes the lives of everyone connected to her: her lover, her husband, her son, and even her friendships. Choices can have eternal significance.

Click to enlargeMartel, Connie's lover, has Connie read a line out of one of his many books. "Be happy for this moment, for this moment is your life." This sets the tone for the whole film. Her moment with Martel comes out of an incorrect choice that defines the rest of her life. Indeed "Be happy for this moment, for this moment is your life."

Click to enlargeOnce tasted, forbidden fruit can turn into addiction. Connie becomes addicted to the emotional rush that passion brings. She begins to live for it. Like all other obsessions, it effects every human relation she has. She loses interest in her husband and her son.

We have all been there. We have all made choices that are wrong. Moreover, we have all experienced the pain of relationships broken by our regrettable choices. This film strikes at the heart of the vulnerabilities in all of us. Click to enlargeOur poor choices become the deep sadness that plagues our lives.

The interesting thing about this film is that it is clear that Connie is in no way in love with Martel at all. She knows nothing about him, nothing about his history. Those things do not matter. She is swept away by her passion. She's hooked on a relationship addiction.

Click to enlarge
The film shifts from Connie to her husband Edward when he discovers Connie has a lover. He confronts the lover privately. Edward also has a life changing moment. Driven by his anger he accidentally kills Martel. He conceals his crime by taking the body to a garbage dump wrapped tightly in a huge rug. He too becomes a victim of a poor choice during a passionate moment.

Click to enlargeBoth Connie and Edward resort to lies and deception following their crimes of passion.

The Bible speaks of one sin leading to another. Secrecy leads to lies and deception. The Bible goes so far as to say Click to enlargethat sin leads eventually to death. In the Bible, death is often a word that can mean spiritual separation from God and others. And this is so true. Sin brings separation.

Click to enlargeHow does the film resolve these issues? Can Connie and Edward find happiness again? The film ends before that question is answered. The film is ingenious in this regard. There are many things in life that we don't have answers to. There are certain ambiguities and mysteries in life that are irresolvable. Connie wisely says we will have to take it one day at a time.

Click to enlargeThere's an insightful scene towards the end of movie where Connie and Edward are sitting in their car wondering what to do. They begin to wish they could change their names, become new people, live in Mexico on the beach, where nobody would know their true names and live in peace. There is in all of us this hope of a peaceful hereafter. Connie's description of a new beginning with a new name speaks to a desire within the human soul of a heaven to come. And-or even a new beginning on earth [new birth].

The movie has a sobering feel to it and leaves us facing the human condition in all of its reality.

Click to enlargeClick to enlargeClick to enlarge
High wind is used to give a sense of disorientation. Note the hair over the eyes (blindness).
Click to enlargeClick to enlargeClick to enlarge
Windows are used as a form of separation and to give the impression of life in distortion.
Click to enlargeClick to enlargeClick to enlarge
Note the slanted cars, uneven walk ways and graffiti -- suggesting the chaos to come. Note the words "Holiday" and "Penalty" in the background of the third photo, suggesting that Connie's holiday will lead to a penalty.
Click to enlargeClick to enlargeClick to enlarge
The secret affair becomes increasingly public, expressing the larger impact of "private" sin. From bedroom to restaurant kissing to open sex in public corridors.
Click to enlargeTHE WEDDING RING
Often during scenes of the affair, Connie's wedding ring is displayed to bring a sense of tension.
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