Saturday, September 11, 2010

Diane Lane in Unfaithful

Diane Lane received her only Best Actress nomination to date for playing Connie Summer, an unfaithful wife in Adrian Lyne's movie, Unfaithful. I think she might even have been a dark horse in the race: she had a great, applauded comeback movie and won the most important critics' awards (NYFC and a few others). I strongly believe that had the movie received greater reviews, she would have won.

Unfaithful is a great movie about infidelity, love and marriage. The first part of it is mindblowingly brilliantly and it's full of unforgettable scenes. The second part is a very exciting, but a bit usual thriller, which is still great. So overall, Unfaithful is truly worth watching. The actors give very good performances: Richard Gere is excellent as the confused husband, though he did not get the best role. Olivier Martinez does not have much to do, except for being the cheeky seducer who cannot be resisted. Erik Per Sullivan gives a great child performance as the son of Connie.

But, this whole movie is about Diane Lane, who gives an unbelievable performance as Connie. It's good to actually see a great performance in this line-up. All the problems that I had with the three other reviewed ladies did not emerge here and I could only enjoy Lane's acting here, which is just pure delight.

By delight I do NOT refer to her performance though as this is one of the toughest and most merciless achievements I have ever scene. Lane really doesn't search for ways to show how innocent Connie is. Instead of that, she ruthlessly reveals all the flaws and weaknesses of this character and also suggests how stupid she was that she gave up everything for this affair. Connie has everything: a great husband, a child, a nice house, friends, sex life and most of all happiness. Connie is a very satisfied person, whose only reason to cheat on her husband is pure temptation. Lane perfetly understood all the intentions of this character: Connie's motivation above all is having wild fun with a stranger.

(As predicted) Things turn out to be disasterous though. But before that she has some guilty fun. Her famous/infamous train scene is one of the best acted moments in the history of cinema. There's so much emotion there that the screen is almost exploding. During that sequence we also get so see moments of her first sexual intercourse and she truly rocks there too. It's so brilliant that while she wants to have sex, she does want to resist in a way. Lane is so totally real in those scenes, that it's almost painful.

She's astonishing throughout the movie, though I must admit that the best parts of her performance are in the first half (because the second one focuses on Gere). She got an excellently written role and used every opportunity to shine and show her talent. Her immense, gigantic presence stays with you even when the scene is about another character. However there isn't a moment where one feels that her acting is selfish and doesn't let the others work.

Towards the middle, there's a scene when she becomes jealous of a young rival and has a fight with Martinez which ends up in sex. The hotness and passion of Lane nearly sets the screen on fire. She really gets your guts and doesn't even let you go for a long time (even after watching the film). She made such an impression that cannot really be forgotten.

As I said that in the second part she does not have much to do, but when she's on-screen, she totally rocks: for example there's a scene where she finds out that her husband actually knew about her affair and might even be responsible for a terrible crime. The confusion and desperation Lane shows is unbelievably real. Not to mention how well she delivered some of the weakest lines of the movie and how excellently she solved the scenes of the ending.

So, to sum up, Diane Lane was way better than I remembered (though I was very impressed by her for the first time too) and she totally blew me away. This is the performance I have been waiting for since I announced this year. Now I'm really satisfied. Lane gave one of the most intimate, credible and unforgettable performances ever. Excellent, excellent and naturally gets

So what do you think? Any opinions, observations, off-topic things? If you want to see Unfaithful click here.


joe burns said...

I agree! Although this would be 4, 5/5 for me. Still great though. I'm still pulling for Julianne though.

dinasztie said...

Well, Joe you only have to wait about 30-40 minutes for Julianne's review.

dinasztie said...

Minus 30 minutes... LOL