In the Cut (2003) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: New York writing professor, Frannie Avery, has an affair with a police detective who is investigating the murder of a beautiful young woman in her neighborhood. Runtime: 119 mins Release Date: 31 Oct 2003
Campion always impresses. Do not go into this film seeking a tightly woven suspense thriller. This film deals more of what happens when a woman is continuously victimized by the idea of true love and the world it places her in. Meg Ryan? I gave her the benefit of the doubt. It paid off. She is marvelous. Her character is enigmatic and sexy. The fact that they washed away her Hollywood image delighted me. Her sexual demands are tastefully perverted. Mark Ruffalo? His primitive macho cop demeanor plays well for Ryan's repressed desire to have sexual fulfillment. Why does sex effect so many <more>
of us? Why not just tell us all about it as children. We're not stupid. Just tell us the truth.Ryan's character has lost connection to the world. Her wisdom and insight comes from banner poems on public transport. Ryan displays an inner coolness that I find attractive. She does not respond to silly questions and reacts slightly to incredible events such as being hit by a car. She is in her own world of thought lost in an idealistic vision of happiness and love but lives her reality in perverted surroundings and grime. The people in her life all seem to be disconnected.There is a serial killer on the loose and Ryan's interaction with him is hauntingly chilling while at the same time beautifully shot. There is a mystery as to whom he might be. The riddle was of minor concern. I was more fascinated watching Ryan's character. The film is filled with fabulous shots. Highly stylized. Several closeups of Meg Ryan's world. The film drags a bit and lingers into the unknown at times just as the protagonist Ryan. It has moments of beauty that is rarely seen on the screen in this day and age. I give this film a 10.Victor Nunnally BFA Dramatic History and Theory BFA Film Theory and Production
Did not expect much from a "non comedy" Meg Ryan movie. Watched it frankly because I am a Mark Ruffalo fancier. I was rewarded on both counts. More explicit than expected but more Mark for me...I believe this movie did more for Meg Ryan than a dozen of her romantic comedies. She showed some acting gumption that should keep her in good stead, I hope.Mark Ruffalo is reliably charismatic, albeit not having enough viewing time in 'Collateral'. They were both very open to nudity but I suspect Meg Ryan did not do ALL of hers. Regardless, this is a very satisfying movie and <more>
recommend it to all those, fans of her or him.Bravo!
One of the best films I've seen this year (by Catanya9)
I saw this film with very low expectations after reading several reviews. I have to say, I disagree with all of them. Meg Ryan's performance was great, even more so from someone who is usually type cast into romantic comedies. She is captivating and completely believable - the same for Mark Ruffalo. I always had mild, Luke-warm feelings about him, but he really did an amazing job with this part. The dialogue in particular could have made his character come off somewhat as a caricature, but he made Malloy come alive with all his brashness and confusion. And to the previous reviewer who <more>
referred to the sex as depraved and perverted, which movie were you watching? And yes, there was some nudity in this film, but most of it was not Meg Ryan. All in all, an excellent film, highlighting some of the less conventional relationships we have.
Obviously Cuts Too Deep for Some (by richard-mason)
Deary me, some people get upset when a film isn't what they want it to be, don't they? How dare the film be what the film-makers set out to make, instead of what someone's narrow expectations dictate it should b? Fancy In the Cut being gritty, seamy, sexy and deeply disturbing ... just like all the publicity and the rating warned us it would be. What a shock. How did the people expecting another Piano, or Meg Ryan Finds True Love Yet Again ever find themselves in the cinema?As for those who have said they have walked out completely unmoved ... either they must be aliens or <more>
robots, or are fooling themselves, not wanting to acknowledge the truth of what they've seen on the screen. Seldom have I seen a film that so truly examines the dark side of our sexual impulses. I walked out quite shattered, and wandered around in a daze for a while.Meg Ryan completely miscast? Ridiculous and insulting. How dare you tell an actress she has to be Little Mary Sunshine for the rest of her life. And she pulls it off brilliantly. She and Mark Ruffalo give the most stunning lead performances for a long time. Why? Because they're playing real, multi-layered people. Not goody-goodies or baddy-baddies.Didn't like any of the characters? Must have a very limited range of acquaintances, or alternatively, don't like the real people you do know.Thriller plot not thrilling? Admittedly it's not the strongest point in the film, but it has all the required shocks and surprises and, you'd think enough gore for the modern audience , and while the revelation of the murderer is not the biggest twist ending ever, the final shot takes your breath away.And anyway, Campion, while handling the thriller genre competently, is using it as a means to explore sexuality. And attraction. And how much of love involves physicality, carnality, trust, the desire to dominate, the desire to be dominated, and above all, the attraction of the DANGEROUS. Yes, adult stuff, not often tackled in mainstream films.I think it's her best film ever possibly excepting Sweetie , and I give it 9 out of 10.
Pleasure and Fear: Campion's Guide to Female Eroticism ***SPOILERS*** (by jonie v.)
In Jane Campion's films, women are stunted communicators. They are overwhelmed by larger-than-life men in the presence of whom their words are clearly futile, not to be uttered. In In the Cut the protagonist Frannie is an English professor who collects the words of others but does not have much to say on her own account. She is silenced inside by a bewildered fear of people-men-which she carries around in the form of a great vulnerability. As we see her in the streets of New York, in the bars, on the train, in her house, we are struck by how small and fragile she looks, a beautiful thing <more>
in a very rough world. Frannie is constantly pondering over the little poems, or fragments of poems, the transit authority posts in the New York subway trains. She is also writing a book on slang words, which she gathers by regularly meeting a black student in a seedy restaurant-bar. The words are very much not her own words, part of a culture she studies as an outsider. In her home, she meticulously posts words and sentences on cork boards on the walls. When the cop who will become her lover first enters her place, the first thing he notices are the words. When he leaves, he leaves behind a new word, `disarticulated,' which Frannie hastens to scribble down and put up with the others.Disarticulated, or inarticulate, is, in fact, what Frannie is. She cannot articulate her unease, and stumbles through a traumatized post-9/11 New York in a state of shell-shocked withdrawal. Along with her unease, she cannot articulate her desire. Pauline, her sister, who knows her well, pressures her into dating men, presumably because she doesn't. Pauline herself, who lives surrounded by sex because her apartment is literally above a go-go bar and she's close to the girls, is in love with a doctor who sleeps with her but does not love her back and whom she sees mainly by making doctor's appointments. Frannie's and Pauline's lives are filled with desire and sensuality. Their houses are steeped in color and sound, wonderfully cozy houses, not expensive but lusciously decorated with red shag carpets and piles of soft cushions. At the beginning of the film, Frannie's and Pauline's desire shows itself in their love for each other. Since we don't know the two are sisters half-sisters, actually , we think Pauline is Frannie's lover. The two women touch a lot, walk holding hands, part with a loud kiss on the mouth. The play of their hands, their touch, their physical proximity dominates all the scenes in which they appear together in the film. In the meantime, the doctor Pauline is in love with is seeking a restraining order against her. The idea that she may be issued a restraining order feels absurd to Pauline, who tells Frannie the story in grief and disbelief. Looking at Frannie and Pauline huddled up in Pauline's apartment, it feels absurd to us, too: theirs is clearly a world in which women have a lot more to fear from men than men from women.Men are portrayed from the start and consistently as dangerous predators. The student Frannie meets in the bar is cocky and macho, and Frannie looks remarkably vulnerable sitting with him with her professorial glasses on. In the back of the room, women giggle with a guy or two. When Frannie goes to the restroom, she gets lost in the back of the bar and comes across a woman giving a man a blow job. The scene is, again, filled with menace. At the same time, Frannie is attracted to it, and look on, unseen. When she comes back to her table her student is gone, sent away by a mixture of impatience and jealousy.These threatening men besides the student, who will later try to rape Frannie, there's Frannie ex-boyfriend, who breaks into her house, and of course the cop and his partner serve the purpose of the film, which, as a slasher thriller, means to keep us guessing which one of the guys is the serial murderer who strangles women, rips their throats open, and cuts them to pieces. Juxtaposed to Frannie's desire, though, this pervasive sense of male threat functions at a deeper level, because it provides a context to her inwardness and isolation. When Frannie finally gets her detective into bed, Campion does a great job of making the intensely erotic and explicit lovemaking all about Frannie and her pleasure. Molloy's own pleasure is not even addressed. The sex is all about Frannie and her delight. In his review of the film, Rene Rodriguez of the Miami Herald describes the sex in the film as cold. I am not surprised, though I think he is dead wrong. The film's exceptional eroticism may fail to register, or register fully, on the American viewer's radar screen because its polarities are subverted. I never thought of this before seeing this scene, but in fact movie sex scenes the heterosexual ones are all about the man's conquest of the woman. The man fucks the woman. In In the Cut, Frannie fucks the detective, not in the sense that he is passive he isn't , but in the sense that the whole scene is about her pleasure, her desire. So the typical parameters along which we are trained to register eroticism on the screen do not work here, because there is no sense of male conquest, no taking over of the female body. The female body is possessed only of its own pleasure, a pleasure Molloy serves. The camera is focused on Frannie's face, on her gestures and expression of sexual delight-and these are conveyed rather restrainedly in terms of movie conventions, without moans or grunts and little verbal ejaculations. Frannie moans only when she gives herself an orgasm, not when Molloy gives it to her. Also, and significantly, Frannie is the one who initiates the lovemaking, in a matter-of-fact, unromantic way that is atypical of this kind of movies. So it requires a different mindset to appreciate the eroticism of In the Cut, a mindset focused on the pleasure of women rather than on the pleasure of men.Besides wanting to hurt women, men want to own them. This theme runs through the film as a constant thread. Pauline's and Frannie's father, whom we see in sepia-colored sequences ice skating with the woman who's destined to be Frannie's mother, fell in love with her on a frozen pond while he was already engaged to another woman. The woman, disgusted by her fiancee's behavior, threw her engagement ring on the ice. The man picked it up and, half an hour later, put it on the hand of his new conquest. The sepia-colored sequences return two or three times. Just to make sure that we get it, Campion has the ice-skating father run over his new fiancee, cutting her to pieces with the sharp blades of her skates. The men who want to own women are the same men who will cut them to pieces. Molloy also asks Frannie to get engaged to him, as will the serial killer before she kills him and ends the movie. So Frannie is constantly fighting: to protect herself from male violence and to retain her independence. When, towards the end, Molloy, apparently frustrated by Frannie's silences and withdrawal, shouts at her that she's exhausting him, she locks him to a drain-pipe with his handcuffs and fucks him. The sex, as before, is about her, not his pleasure. Frannie doesn't win her battle. The ravaged city of New York is too far gone, too lost in violence and horror, for a small woman like her to right things. But, as in her other films, Campion shows us a woman who reappropriates her desire without emasculating her partner or turning away from men altogether. This is a great victory unto itself.
Campion is a masterful filmmaker - worth seeing (by gabrielle-4)
Very interesting movie. Campion is a master at psychological drama and at storytelling. This movie captures the sense of RISK in life -- the close-ups, the out of focus shots, the moving camera, and the sense of NOT seeing everything -- it represented masterfully a woman's sense of risk in her life -- of the tiny decisions from minute to minute that can lead to danger or safety, even if we are barely thinking about them. Also the decisions that can become dangerous before we know it. It's a remarkable film in that artistry. It's only too bad that the ending had to become a <more>
cop-and-crime-thriller movie ending -- I am glad that the ending is as it turns out rather than, I hear, how the book ends the story , but I have a feeling that Campion, if she'd had total control, would have ended this more ambiguously. Still, she's a remarkable filmmaker even in these constraints, and this is perhaps one of Ryan's best performances. This is not your typical Meg Ryan movie at all, of course! -- it's disturbing, so get in that mood. Very worth seeing.
Jane Campion has a tenderness that is so attractive that if it did not come with warnings, I would build a romantic dreamworld around it. That's what we do with deep soft urges. Her films seem always to be about the edges, the danger, the costs. But they are motivated by this genuine wonderful, warmness. It exists so that imperfect beings can swirl urges as whole lives. It exists as Campion's substitute for the caprice that usually drives noir. We know it is there because Jennifer Jason Leigh knew about this, knows how to tell us that it is not just desired, but is desired because it <more>
is real.Campion is a force in women's nerve structure. We have lots of filmmakers who do well with fluids. We need her for the sinews, the tight bits that drive us. Thanks be. Thanks be that she can tie to both word and not always, but sometimes moving image.Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
For years I could not stand most of the roles Meg Ryan would portray, especially those like "You've Got Mail" and "Sleepless in Seattle".Even her fake orgasm in "When Harry met Sally" really did seem fake - just another young person out for the shock factor.I was sick of her goody two shoes roles. Finally she has shown us she can act! She portrays a realistic person in a real world situation. As seedy and undesirable as the movie may seem, Meg comes across as a real person and not some kind of fairy tale figure. There isn't one time she smiles with that <more>
goofy turned up corners smile she has either.I hope to see more of Meg now that she has proved herself. I'm so glad she redeemed herself.
Debunking The Notion Of Romantic Love (by seymourblack-1)
During a police investigation into a series of grisly murders in New York City, the lead homicide detective and a woman who may have some useful information to share, get involved in a steamy sex-driven affair. From that point on, the progress of the murder investigation and the woman's emotional journey are inextricably intertwined in a story that highlights a lack of romanticism in sexual relationships and the difficulties she encounters in a world where all the men that feature in her life are naturally violent, neurotic or, at best, insensitive.Frannie Avery Meg Ryan is an English <more>
teacher who's fascinated by slang and habitually records the brief passages of poetry that she sees on her regular subway journeys. This rather withdrawn academic is shocked but riveted one afternoon when she goes in search of the bathroom in a local bar only to see a couple in a shadowy corner engaged in oral sex. Some days later, she's visited by Detective Giovanni Malloy Mark Ruffalo who's investigating the murder of the woman who Frannie had seen in the bar. It transpires that her body had been dismembered and some of her remains had been found in the garden somewhere beneath Frannie's apartment.Frannie isn't able to provide any useful information to Malloy and disturbingly, notices a small tattoo on his wrist which leads her to suspect that he may be the murderer. Despite this, she responds positively to his blunt sexual aggressiveness and soon they become lovers. During their affair, Frannie is both aroused and frightened by Malloy's crudeness and when she discusses the relationship with her half-sister Pauline Jennifer Jason Leigh , she encourages her to stick with it.Despite her sister's reassurances, Frannie's growing fear continues to intensify and gets worse when she unexpectedly finds her highly-strung ex-boyfriend John Graham Kevin Bacon sleeping in her apartment. Things then get even worse and her life continues to go into further chaos after she discovers Pauline's mutilated dead body.During her affair with Malloy, Frannie's initially repressed feelings were liberated to the point where, within the relationship, she also became sexually aggressive. However, her pursuit of what she wanted came at a high price, as in order to continue her affair, she allowed herself to be treated in a way that threatened her self-respect and potentially exposed her to even greater dangers. The gritty reality of her experience is in stark contrast to the romanticism of the story she was told about how her mother and father met and fell in love and also the reassuring strains of "Que Sera Sera" that are heard periodically.Meg Ryan's portrayal of her sensitive character's lonely, introspective and distrustful nature is flawless and her slightly puzzled expressions reveal a great deal about her responses to what goes on in the harsh city surroundings that she inhabits. Mark Ruffalo is also marvellous and totally convincing in his role."In The Cut" has a surprisingly haunting quality that's strongly enhanced by its beautiful atmospheric colour palette of dark greens, browns and reds and scenes which exploit the use of shadows and rain to great effect. Similarly, certain passages which juxtapose romantic images with violent ones leave a lasting impression e.g. blood tracks appearing in the ice, Frannie's mother's legs being severed and also the timing of when the chirpy "I Think I Love" is played .Bearing in mind the types of movies that had brought Meg Ryan her greatest previous successes, it's quite ironic that, possibly her best ever on-screen acting performance, should feature in a movie that debunks the whole notion of romantic love so powerfully.