Director of Fatal Attraction
“I like movies that create discussion. I love it. I love it when they haven't forgotten about your movie by dinnertime afterwards and they're still arguing about it the next day. That's what a movie should do. It should make you argue and disagree.” Adrian Lyne
Academy Award nominated British film director Adrian Lyne picked up his nomination for his work in the huge box office thriller “Fatal Attraction” (1987), from which he also netted a Golden Globe nomination and a DGA nomination. Starting out playing trumpet for a jazz group before making short films and directing television commercials, the London raised filmmaker scored a massive commercial hit with “Flashdance” (1983), his second film after 1980's “Foxes.” For his effort, Lyne won a Blue Ribbon Award and a Hochi Film Award. He also directed the international hit “9 1/2 Weeks” (1986), the psychological thriller “Jacob's Ladder” (1990), where he received two Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival Awards for his directing, the commercially successful drama “Indecent Proposal” (1993), from which he earned a Razzie nomination, the controversial “Lolita” (1997) and the Diane Lane/Richard Gere vehicle “Unfaithful” (2002, also a producer).
Childhood and Family:
Adrian Lyne was born on March 4, 1941, in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England. He grew up in London and attended London's reputable Highgate School, in which his father was a teacher. Adrian was a fan of movies and frequently went to theaters during his school days. He, however, did not take to filmmaking until after a short tenure as a jazz trumpeter in his twenties. Adrian was inspired by the work of directors like François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard and Claude Chabrol.
Adrian was once married to a woman named Samantha. They have four kids together. He owns a home in a rural village in southern France, where he lives with his family when he is not working in the Unites States.
An avid moviegoer, Adrian Lyne was inspired to make his own films after watching the work of French filmmakers such as Claude Chabrol, Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut. He subsequently left his job as a trumpet player and began directing short films. Two of his shorts, “The Table” (1971) and “Mr. Smith” (1976), premiered at the London Film Festival and Lyne earned rave reviews from his latter film. He also helmed a number of television commercials for British TV and from 1975-1976, TV ads for French TV.
In 1980, Lyne made his feature film directing debut with “Foxes,” which took a look at the friendship of four teenage girls living in the San Fernando Valley during the late 1970s. With Gerald Ayres writing the script and Jodie Foster, Cherie Currie, Marilyn Kagan and Kandice Stroh starring in the film, the drama was released in February 1980.
Three years later, Lyne directed Jennifer Beals and Michael Nouri in the romantic “Flashdance” (1983) The film received negative reviews when it was released in April 1983 but was a surprise hit at the box office where it grossed more than $107 million worldwide with an original budget of $9 million. “Flashdance” was nominated for four Oscars and won two Golden Globes. Lyne was handed a Blue Ribbon for Best Foreign Language Film and a Hochi Film Award in the same category for his work in the film.
In 1986, Lyne returned to the director's chair for the erotic drama “9 1/2 Weeks,” which starred Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke. Adapted from a novella of the same name by Elizabeth McNeill, the film was panned by critics and the cut version enjoyed only moderate success in the United States. Meanwhile, the uncensored version became a massive hit overseas.
Lyne experienced a big breakthrough with his next film, “Fatal Attraction” (1987), a thriller about a happily married attorney who embarked on a weekend affair with a woman who becomes obsessed with him. Starring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close, the movie was both a commercial and critical success and was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director. Lyne also took home a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director - Motion Picture and a Directors Guild of America (DGA) nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures. “Fatal Attraction” became the second highest grossing film of 1987 in the U.S. and grossed over $320 million worldwide.
In 1990, Lyne directed Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Peña, Danny Aiello and Jason Alexander in “Jacob's Ladder,” a psychological thriller about a former GI returning from Vietnam. The film, which was written by Bruce Joel Rubin of “Ghost” fame, brought Lyne Audience and Critics Awards at the 1991 Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival.
Lyne had his next huge box office success with “Indecent Proposal,” a film based on Jack Engelhard's novel of the same name and starring Robert Redford, Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson, Seymour Cassel and Oliver Platt. Released in April 1993, the movie grossed over $106 million in the U.S. and $160 million internationally. Despite its impressive commercial victory, “Indecent Proposal” generally received poor reviews from critics and brought Lyne a Razzie nomination for Worst Director.
Four years later, Lyne resurfaced to direct “Lolita” (1997), a movie adaptation of a novel by Vladimir Nabokov. Starring Jeremy Irons and Dominique Swain, the romantic drama garnered rave reviews. However, because of its controversial subject matter, it faced difficulties being distributed in the United States, where it finally made its debut on Showtime on August 2, 1998.
“The only important thing for a director is to have a passion for what you're doing. The reason I've taken so long after 'Lolita,' really, is that I haven't had a kind of boiling passion to do a film.” Adrian Lyne
Following a five year break, Lyne directed the erotic thriller “Unfaithful” (2002). An adaptation of the 1968 French film “The Unfaithful Wife,” helmed by Lyne's idol Claude Chabrol, the film earned mixed reviews although star Diane Lane gained praise for her performance. The film grossed over $119 million worldwide. Lyne also made his producing debut with the film.
“I'm fascinated by relationships and how they work or don't work. It's all that matters, isn't it? I'm much more interested in the small picture than the big one because I think close-ups and the minutiae and the breath in one's face is much more interesting than the landscape out there.” Adrian Lyne
Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival: Audience Award, “Jacob's Ladder,” 1991
Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival: Critics Award, “Jacob's Ladder,” 1991
Blue Ribbon: Best Foreign Language Film, “Flashdance,” 1984
Hochi Film: Best Foreign Language Film, “Flashdance,” 1983