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In the Cut (2003)

  Directed by: Jane Campion
Written by: Jane Campion, Susanna Moore
Starring: Kevin Bacon, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mark Ruffalo, Meg Ryan
Links: In the Cut on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on DVD, Buy the Book
Genre: Suspense/Horror/Thriller

This movie gets: 4.50 (2 ratings) Ranking: Ranked equal 158th of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

"Atmospheric, rambling" - a review by pearly

There is a serial killer in New York city, and professor Frannie (Meg Ryan) fears that she may have witnessed the killer just prior to his first killing. All she knows is that the mysterious man has a tattoo on his arm. She then notices the same tattoo on the arm of the detective (Mark Ruffalo) looking over the case, but despite her concerns she begins a raunchy affair with him. Is she getting in too deep? Two hours later, we will find out.

Jane Campion has the dubious distinction of being the director of the worst movie ever, The Piano (1993), as voted by a distinguished panel of one: my dad. When talking about films, it is not uncommon for him to indicate his distaste by saying things like "well, the director obviously took a lesson from Jane Campion when making that film", or similar. I remain undeterred though, and have continued to see her films.

Despite the glowing reviews from Mr and Mrs Movie Show, I was not particularly impressed by In the Cut. To me, the story was pedestrian, with the who-dunnit theme running through it, and the (obvious) twists and turns. Also, I found the characters very hard to believe, particularly the relationship between Frannie and the detective. And as this relationship is the hinge upon which the whole thing rests, it didn't leave much room for me to be able to appreciate the film. Campion sure does like to spoon healthy heapings of sex and nudity into her films!

Visually, In the Cut is wonderful. The opening scenes with the blossoms falling like snow are beautiful and memorable. The acting is all on-par, with Jennifer Jason Leigh giving a particularly interesting performance as Frannie's sister. But neither of these things can take the place of a story that takes hold of you, which In the Cut is missing.

The structure of the story, which aims to reveal key elements of the story along the way, as new discoveries for the audience, succeeds only partly - it raised questions in my mind that weren't answered until later. The thing is, though, the questions were not things I particularly wanted to wait to find the answers to, they were just niggly things that ate at me and annoyed me, which took away from my enjoyment of the film until I found out the answers. And even finding out was not satisfying.

I really could have done without the Kevin Bacon character, too.

pearly gives this movie 5 out of 10.
Review created on Wed 7 Jan 2004

"Cut it all" - a review by andy-j

There's been a lot of hoo-hah and flim-flam about this film, so I thought I'd check it out to see what all the fuss is about. Meg Ryan plays Frannie, a writing professor, who becomes involved with Malloy, a cop investigating a series of brutal murders. The more she gets to know him, the more she becomes involved in the murder investigation herself, which leads to her having her own suspicions about who and what she can and cannot trust.

In the Cut is mostly a character study, going inside Frannie's head and focusing on her paranoia, weaknesses, sexual appetite and various emotions. The plot is very much secondary to the characerter observations, and as such, things happen so slowly that I was bored to tears. Barely any attention is paid to the murders, for example. We only get the briefest titbits of information about the deaths, stuff that I wanted to know more about. The plot is also rather nonsensical. Frannie makes ridiculous leaps of logic that are completely baseless and totally circumstantial. Some things are seemingly forgotten about - for example, when Frannie goes to the police station to make a statement on Malloy's advice, he instead drives her out to a forest and they then have sex. Then.. nothing. The evidence just gets ignored - a simple "we'll do it tomorrow" would have sufficed, but we don't even get that. You don't get detectives working on triple murders not following up on important leads... it just wouldn't happen. Additionally, the "twist" at the end could not have been any more predictable and substandard.

I was totally underwhelmed by this film. It's not my thing at all. Yep, the acting is tops and the characters are well-developed, but this is not nearly enough to hold my interest for the length of a film. As far as I'm concerned, if you're going to put a potentially engrossing series of murders in the background and something else in the foreground, you should at least make the foreground element more interesting. In the Cut is boring, slow and frustrating.

andy-j gives this movie 4 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 2 Dec 2003

Movie review statistics

Number of reviews: 2
Average rating: 4.50
Lowest rating: 4 (by andy-j)
Highest rating: 5 (by pearly)
Rating Percentage

Reader comments

  1. I believe this is the Worst film, I've ever seen in my life. Meg Ryan has to degrade down to low class acting just to show off her new plastic surgery. She had many sex sceens with this demanding perverted Cop malloy and watches his co-worker get a blowjob in a club/bar. Why would someone invite their student to a Bar to talk about school? I wouldnt. This movie is not really worth the time to see. It's very dry, doesnt make sense, and Kevin Bacon's part in the film makes no sense, what the heck does he have to do with anything? it's a just a low budget crap film not even worth 19.88 or less. Dont buy it.

    Rating given: 1

    A comment from Alison on Wed 21 Jan 2004 11:15 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 1.00 (1 rating)

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