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Mediocre film; amazing sound design and nude scene
squirrelsatemynuts26 January 2005
"In the Cut" features solid acting and a nice color scheme but is mostly unremarkable in terms of story, script and visuals. Savvy viewers will recognize most of the plot elements and characters from other recent thrillers. The film does, however, have two remarkable elements: an amazing 5.1-channel sound mix and a nude scene that is notable not for its pornographic or fantasy-fulfilling qualities but for its stark realism.

Anyone who appreciates film sound should watch (or rather, listen to) "In the Cut" because it's one of the few existing films that uses 5.1-channel sound for more than SFX gimmicks or making sure the Dolby Digital logo appears on its DVD case. The film creates real ambiance and mood with its sound mix, which helped suck me into the story world and get a sense of the characters' environment. I first noticed this when Frannie descends the stairs in the restaurant (just before she sees the mysterious villain). As she walks through the noisy crowd and down the stairwell, the conversations, bustling and other background fade from the front to rear channels and mix with her footsteps as she descends. This, to me, is much more elegant use of 5.1-channel surround than sticking a few whizzing noises in the rear channels when a spaceship flies off the top edge of the frame. "In the Cut" makes full use of its available channels, which is more than 99% of high-budget films can say.

The other piece of the film that stuck with me was the nude scene with Frannie and Malloy that follows their inevitable hook-up. It's so rare to see a Hollywood nude scene that features characters just lounging with nothing on and in such an unromantic setting. It's especially amazing with an established star like Meg Ryan. There are no mysterious L-shaped sheets to hide their bodies but there is also no sense that Campion left them nude to attract voyeurs to her film. The characters don't assume erotic poses; they simply act as if they've already seen what they have to show each other, as most people do after sex. I don't often praise realism in films, especially stupid thrillers, but this scene stood out as much as the excellent sound design. If only the rest of the film could live up to those standards.
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Obviously Cuts Too Deep for Some
richard-mason17 November 2003
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 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.
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A Cut Above
Buddy-517 November 2004
Meg Ryan gives what may well be the breakthrough performance of her career in 'In the Cut,' a violent, erotic thriller from maverick filmmaker Jane Campion. Ryan plays Frannie, a college English instructor who is instinctively drawn to the seamier side of life. When women in her Manhattan neighborhood start falling victim to a grizzly serial killer, Frannie, as a possible witness, becomes a prime source of interest, both professionally and personally, for a homicide detective named Malloy, who has some troubling sexual proclivities of his own to deal with. Attracted by his edgy darkness and smoldering sexuality, Frannie succumbs to his advances, fully cognizant of the possible danger he represents. Is the law enforcement official as much of a threat to this young woman as the psychopath going about town decapitating and dismembering the local ladies? It is this kind of moral ambiguity that informs the entire movie.

From the very outset, Campion makes it clear that we are not in for a conventional police procedural. She is obviously more interested in character and mood than in the niceties of a well-oiled plot and streamlined exposition. Frannie is far from being the helpless victim or plucky heroine one usually finds at the center of such tales; she is a complex, moody, taciturn woman who seems to be drifting passively through life, with little passion, conviction or purpose to make any of it worthwhile. Even when it comes to her sexual obsessions, it often feels as if she is just going through the motions. It is hard for us to get a bead on her, for she is a perfect reflection of the world she inhabits, a world without a clear moral compass - so much so that we often don't know what we are supposed to think of her or the other people with whom she comes in contact. The script plays up the sense of dislocation by having characters appear and disappear seemingly at random throughout the movie, sometimes serving as little more than red herrings for both the story and Frannie's life. This often makes it so that we in the audience feel clueless as to where exactly the film is headed and what the overall purpose of it really is. It's often hard for us to get our bearings, yet, it is this very ambiguity, this sense of being rudderless and confused, that lifts the film above the tired conventions of the genre. In fact, the film is at its weakest when it concentrates on the intricacies of the plot - the resolution is remarkably mundane - and at its strongest when it merely records the eccentricities and passions of its two enigmatic characters.

The sexual content of the film is highly charged but not overtly offensive, with one glaring exception, at least in the 'unrated' version (I assume this does not apply to the version released to theaters). Early in the film, we are treated to a graphic, hard core close-up of an act of fellatio that clearly is not simulated. Consider yourself forewarned.

Ryan has never been better than she is here. She plays Frannie almost as if she were one of the urban walking dead, just right for a modern woman who feels no real emotional connection with the world and the people around her.

Mark Ruffalo is excellent as the cop who may be more of a threat to Frannie than the killer who's terrorizing the area. Almost as an afterthought, Kevin Bacon makes little more than a cameo appearance, overacting in the role of Frannie's stalker ex-boyfriend.

'In the Cut' is a subtle little mood piece that is more about observing behavior than it is about searching for a killer. Those looking for an intensely plotted thriller may not be as intrigued by this film as those searching for a psychosexual character study. It's the atmosphere and the performances that count in this film.
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Beautiful film.
victor77544 November 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 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
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Jane Campion's film has something that makes it worth seeing
Nazi_Fighter_David21 May 2007
In fact, much of Frannie's allure is that she isn't shy about her body, or even afraid to engage in sexual activity with Detective James Malloy (Mark Ruffalo) in her two room apartment on Washington Square…

In the Red Turtle bar, Frannie (Meg Ryan) inadvertently watched a man, with a tattoo on his wrist, receiving oral gratification from a girl with blue fingernails having diamonds in them…

Soon after, there was a homicide in Frannie's neighborhood… The body of the woman, or part of her body, to be exact, was found in the garden outside her window…The girl who was murdered was Angela Sands with the blue fingernails …

As the psychopath strikes again and again, Frannie embarks on a powerfully physical sexual relationship with Malloy, despite her rising suspicions, later on, that the serial killer in question may very well be the 'good cop' with the 'three of spade' she saw once…

Meg Ryan plays a very interior character living out of her unconscious emotions and actions, seeming always scared of what she wants… Her only passion was poetry… Her former lover Kevin Bacon— mentally unbalanced—thinks he should stick around because he slept with her twice… Bacon maintains a threatening presence throughout the whole picture… Jennifer Jason Leigh— exquisitely sexy— graces the screen as Frannie's half-sister Pauline… In his few scenes with Ryan, Sharrieff Pugh proves to be sweet and charming but also bad and scary
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My extended review of the film
sol-19 January 2005
Many people out there do not understand the difference between the Best Picture and Best Director Oscar. After all, if the director is responsible for making sure all the elements mix well together, then surely Best Director should be the same as Best Picture? Well that is not quite the case, as far as I understand it. The writing of the film, or the story itself, is at least the main thing that a director does not have complete control of. There are other elements too of course. But the reason why it is so hard to explain the difference to people is that it is rare to come across a film that is well directed but nothing much else. However, 'In the Cut' is an example of such a film.

The plot is a thriller about some serial killer who is killing young women. Sound familiar yet? However there is a (pseudo) erotic romance involved too. Our protagonist is an outgoing female, but yet one with weaknesses. The storyline revolves around a primarily sexual relationship that she starts with a detective investigating the case, however all along she suspects that he is the killer, because she saw someone with the same tattoo receiving oral sex from one of the murder victims. I won't reveal the rest of the plot, which may sound slightly original, but yet I can reassure you it is quite hackneyed in the execution.

The film is based on a novel written by Susannah Moore, which I am yet to read, and after seeing the film adaptation, I am in no mood to. Campion takes to writing the screenplay, but helped along by Moore. In 1993, Campion did a superb job writing 'The Piano', for which she received a well-deserved Oscar. The characters in the film were all interesting and well developed, and the story was no difficulty to understand. It was also quite original. The material for this movie however revolves around a familiar plot that has a thriller element. More time in the script is dedicated therefore towards the thriller – and romance – aspects of the story, and less towards the drama. That's not to say that the characters are poorly developed or anything, but it does not help. The main problem with the writing of the film is the story itself. It has so many familiar elements and at times it is predictable and clichéd.

The acting is not much better than ordinary either. Ryan has a few good moments, but is often over-the-top. The rest of the cast is, well, satisfactory, but nothing special, give or take Kevin Bacon. However Bacon's character is perhaps the most questionable one of the lot. So if the writing and acting in the film is ordinary, can it be a great film? Not really. How then, one might wonder, is it well directed? Campion is a very good director. She knows exactly how to direct a film to give it the right atmosphere and make it look good. In the Cut is one of the best-looking thrillers I've seen of this decade. As in 'The Portrait of a Lady', Campion demonstrates an acute eye for colour and light in the film. The execution is very polished. On a surface level it does not look like a cheap Hollywood film. It does not look like a vehicle for Ryan or any of her co-stars. Kudos especially goes to Campion's vision of the flashbacks used in the film, which are reminiscent of the vignettes Kidman's worldwide voyages in 'The Portrait of a Lady'. Even Campion's use of black and white aids the visual style.

This is certainly one of the most unique films I have come across, but I don't say that in an overly positive manner. It is a very good-looking film, and ignoring camera angles and editing techniques, it still looks very solid on a visual scope. There is plenty to admire about Campion's direction of the film, but under this polished surface that Campion has created lies an ordinary, predictable, clichéd and only semi-interesting thriller. It is a film worth seeing to admire Campion's craft as a director, but the film is otherwise rather unrewarding, though it surely will still keep one watching until maybe the last ten minutes.
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Pleasure and Fear: Campion's Guide to Female Eroticism ***SPOILERS***
jonie v.2 November 2003
Warning: Spoilers
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 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.
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Two Hours of My Life I Can't Get Back...
knkcoleman15 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
In a word, this film is disappointing. From the beginning, things felt disjointed and confusing. I had the sense that the director was trying to bring me into Frannie's world through visual tricks, but they seemed forced. It was apparent early on the color red was going to play an important part in the end of the film, because almost every scene had some red peppered through it, but it was done is such an obvious way that it became distracting. And every time I saw the red hat or the red shoes or the red newspaper box, I was struck that it seemed so dated - I remembered how effective a trick it had been with the movie 'The Sixth Sense' and how long ago was that? I found nothing sympathetic about the main characters. And while I didn't expect Frannie or Malloy to have a heart of gold I would have preferred to care about whether or not she gets killed in the end. As it goes, I didn't. Casting baby-faced Ruffalo as a tough-guy, sex-starved cop seemed a confusing choice. I love Ruffalo, even in his darker films, but throwing a Village People mustache on a guy does not necessarily make him appear more menacing.

And I know this will make me seem like a prude, but I did have a problem with the first sex scene, where Frannie comes upon a couple in a sex act. There is a close up view of a portion of a penis on screen for several seconds. I don't have a problem with the act itself, but I do wonder why it was necessary to show the penis. It was fully apparent that the guy was getting a blow job, I'm not sure what cinematically was gained by showing that level of detail. I can only think that it was put in to push the boundaries of the rating system, or to fulfill some strange agenda. It seemed pointless and arbitrary. Well, I guess that is in keeping with the rest of the film.
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Woozy psycho-sexual thriller isn't preoccupied with logic or even with being seamless...
moonspinner559 July 2006
Half-baked, underwritten crime drama-cum-sexual thriller has Meg Ryan playing mousy English teacher in NYC attracted to a handsome homicide investigator on a serial murder case, one that has left body parts in Ryan's yard (and yet this barely fazes her!). Sub-plots involving Ryan's half-sister (Jennifer Jason Leigh, trying hard with a bad part), ex-boyfriend (an unbilled Kevin Bacon), her students, her job, and her fetish for the English vocabulary go absolutely nowhere. Meg, trying for an understated seriousness--but mostly just looking unhappy--gives a fairly brave and intriguing performance, and it's interesting to see her in these jittery, sordid surroundings, but the plot is alternately off-putting and curiously morbid; it's a fascinating misfire. Nicole Kidman co-produced (and perhaps was in line to star in the film herself), but Ryan does as good a job as any actress might have in the role. **1/2 from ****
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Two hours spent with ugly characters...yuchh
Otto_Partz_97323 February 2004
From beginning to end, an uninteresting, incomprehensible, unrewarding waste of time. Lack of sympathetic characters in itself is not always a bad thing (I'm thinking Taxi Driver, Bad Lieutenant, Goodfellas) but without some performance to draw you in, some attitude or conflict with which to identify, you're simply left in the company of dullards or cretins, both of which are in good supply here. I know Meg Ryan's character is supposed to be bland and timid, but she's also supposed to have some fire burning within, some unfulfilled desire that makes her enter into a risky affair (remember Diane Keaton in 'Looking For Mr. Goodbar?). She shows this in her sex scenes, but none in other moments. Mark Ruffalo? Wonderful performance, if being both wooden and extremely repellent at the same time was the requirement. Kevin Bacon, slumming once again (he seems determined to make 'Three Degrees of Kevin Bacon WAY to easy to play) provides the only interesting performance, but his character is such an obvious red herring that the fun of it diminishes under the formula. The worst offense, however, is the total lack of motive for the killings. 'In the Cut' is apparently (and I'm just guessing here) a skating reference, but what's the point? All the sturm and drang about the mother and father's romance on skates, and the ridiculous dream sequence...why? After nearly two hours spent with ugly characters in ugly surroundings amidst ugly circumstances, there is no payoff, no explanation, no insight. Yuchh.

Later: I read the book. Somehow I was compelled. And it made this abortion of a movie all the more egregious since the author had a hand in it. The book was honest and compelling and had an ending that was DEVESTATING and COMPLETELY in sync with the rest of the story. Why, why, why, do these filmmakers think they can't offer an honest, violent, sad ending to an American audience? This sell-out on the part of the author ranks right up there with the one inflicted by the director of both the original 'The Vanshing' and the US remake. Shame on you for selling out your vision.
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painfully bad
jeff-9027 July 2004
I had low expectations as I thought the book was overrated but this was so much worse than I thought possible. The whole movie made me squirm it was so awful. The dialogue is terrible, there is no motivation behind ANY of the actions or words of any of the characters. The sex scenes were uncomfortable, not sexy. Every word spoken by the 2 cops was cringe inducing. Nothing rings true and there isn't a likeable character in the whole movie. There is no suspense, no tension. And while Meg's body looked fine her face looked awful.

Jane Campion owes her an apology. The worst movie I have seen in years.
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Mishit by Jane Campion
Lemos19 March 2004
By now we are all more or less familiar with Ms. Campion's filming style and tempo. While she has been successful with this style on previous occasions this time I think this was a total mishit. Meg Ryan wallows through the movie in a poetic trance, Ruffalo can't make up his mind if he's a tough or a sensitive cop, the killings are totally unexplained and unmotivated, the sex scene are limp and bland, with porno type dialogue, no chemistry whatsover between the actors, I could rant on forever and ever. In fact I so disapointed with this movie that I could nit-pick on it all day. Okay so Meg Ryan plays against type. Wow! I personally think she should stick to her day job.
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Campion is a masterful filmmaker - worth seeing
gabrielle-412 April 2004
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 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.
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Just awful!
eggartrealty12 April 2004
Wow! I couldn't believe how bad this movie actually was. It's no wonder why the studio delayed releasing this one. I usually enjoy Meg Ryan but she was terrible as the lead. Bad cinematography, bad direction, bad acting, and bad sound didn't help this one either.

We rented this one last night hoping to see a good thriller instead we wasted two hours of our lives (this movie is way too long). The director created no excite, suspense or thrills in a movie that has the formula for all three. Boring sex scenes and characters no one could identify with.
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Unreal and cheap
Tiny T30 June 2004
Warning: Spoilers
There gonna be SPOILERS. First of all, why try to make Meg Ryan look ugly in the first place. It serves no purpose to the movie. Is there 1 American who believes that only ugly people can be weird or what? And what do you think about the affects of alcohol? Are you still drunk after you sleep 6 hours? Totally imbalanced and all like Meg does after here sister got killed? You really are the stupiest (I don't know if this is proper English but you probably can't help me either here) people in the world if you ask me. And what a surprise, there more people with the same tattoo, how can that happen. We didn't expect that after the guy said that he is a member of a secret group. If you ad the poor editing (Candles burning surprisingly, and kept on the same level in the following scenes although she slept the same couple of hours I mentioned before. Why did I see a girl crossing the pavement twice in two following scenes? And why, if she suspects the cop, did she sleep with the guy? What are we supposed to believe, that that is a normal reaction for a woman who didn't get laid for a long time? Come on!!!! I only can say that it is a waste of money.
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Hated it.
shempsstuntdbl4 March 2004
In the Cut just didn't do it for me. Maybe Meg Ryan is trying to shed her "good girl" image, but all she managed to do for me was shed her "good movie" image. Profanity in movies has never offended me, but the profanity in this movie just seems to be thrown in for its supposed shock value. This movie appears to be nothing more than a vehicle for Ryan to get naked and Ruffalo to talk like some prank-calling pervert at a payphone. The plot was, well--absent. The characters were despicable and repugnant and the atmosphere was grimy and foul, like a back alley crack house. I had only one persistent emotion during this entire ordeal, and that was escape. The movie was misery from the opening credits, and couldn't wait for it to end.
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Deeply cynical, sellout movie...
edinburghstoryteller7 February 2006
This was dreadful.

I had high hopes for this film, because I'm a big fan of Meg Ryan's acting abilities - she's very good. And indeed, it's not her that I fault for this travesty of a movie - the part they gave her was awful.

I wasn't shocked by this movie, it wasn't 'too edgy' for me, it was just pointless. I spent the whole thing hoping it was going to improve and trying to give it the benefit of the doubt, but it started out pretty ordinary and continued to be that way for the whole picture.

It was dark for the sake of being dark, Meg's character was really badly overwritten and by the end of the film I really couldn't give a crap if a nuclear weapon suddenly went off and killed everyone involved. In fact, that might have been a better way to go. There was just no substance - it was all about trying to be edgy and dangerous, but without some real meat to base that on, all you have is a second rate picture with poor lighting and a bad script.

Overall, a disappointment. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.
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Unbelievably bad!
madandbad12 June 2004
As a big fan of Meg Ryan and having read some promising reviews, I was looking forward to watching 'In The Cut'.

I really wish I hadn't bothered!!!

The film had no storyline, disjointed filming, and sexual undertones throughout it which served no value to the (I use the word lightly) plot!

Meg... ... what were you thinking of?

I watched the film for 35 minutes waiting for a storyline to develop, before giving up on it. By that time I had realized that it was simply a down-market porn movie disguised as a murder mystery thriller.

The sex scenes were gratuitous and far too graphic for a mainstream movie. I'm not easily shocked... but this film did the trick!

I hung on to the end hoping that some twist at the end might redeem the film... alas... much as I feared, there was no ending of note.

A waste of talent and a waste of my time watching!

1 out of 10 simply for Kevin Bacon's appearance.
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no development in the characters and disappointing.
tijdelijk123 July 2004
A woman teaching English gets involved in a murder investigation. The police officer leading this investigation is instantly attracted to her. Also, from her point of view, this officer incorporates all she loves in her poetry and literature: rough and manly but also protective. She immediately feels this is an opportunity for her to put into practice all she has read about.

Out of her usual environment she finds it dangerous but also feels the excitement of the moment.

Quite cliché all. It is a simple detective story. The characters remain shallow. There is not depth in them and they do not evolve in any way.

I thought Jane Campion would do a much better job. Alas, even she makes mistakes.

What really annoyed me were all the references to "To the Lighthouse" by Virginia Woolf. All this quasi literism makes this film swanky.

I rated this movie a 6. Disappointing for Jane Campion. But not the worst movie I ever saw. There were some nice shots.
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Not Expecting Quality, Not Getting It Either
wiluxe-214 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILER ALERT! I'll freely admit to not being a fan of Meg Ryan's, and I was more than a little surprised to discover that she can act and act very well. And I like Jane Campion. But this was one of the most tedious films to come my way in years. There was no sustained tension to speak of, no humor to break up the monotony, no likable characters, just a few pointless and really tiresome sex scenes scattered throughout a terrible story with lots and lots of talk about sex.

And what's with Meg Ryan's long walk to Manhattan from the lighthouse, across the George Washington Bridge while she's drunk, covered with blood? After the anticlimax of her killing the murderer, her struggle to get home on her own -- exhausted, drunk, emotionally devastated by the last 12 hours -- struck me as just completely stupid.
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Cheap Erotic Thriller
claudio_carvalho10 December 2004
In New York, the lonely English teacher Frannie Avery (Meg Ryan) collects sentences, sayings and new slang in English as a passionate hobby. Her half-sister Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is an unstable woman, and they are close friends. When a young woman is decapitated in Frannie's garden, the police detective Malloy (Mark Ruffalo) visits Frannie investigating the murder and they have an erotic affair. Meanwhile, the unknown serial killer commits other crimes, and Frannie becomes afraid of Malloy at the same time she desires him.

I do not know what happened with Meg Ryan: Is she in the end of career? Does she want to destroy her image of "America's Sweetheart"? Is she training to make a movie with Richard Grieco, Angie Everhart, Stephen Baldwin, Shannon Tweed, Maria Ford and other icons of "erotic thriller" genre? I really did not understand why she accepted to work in this movie. The camera is horrible, looking like a soap opera and staying a few seconds focusing the face of an actor or actress or a location, with millions of cuts and without any sequence longer than a few seconds. The plot is so simple and silly that has to explore an explicit free oral sex scene in the beginning of the movie and lots of bad language, contrasting with the correct use of the English language by the character of Frannie, to make some sort of difference. I saw this movie in an American DVD, and at least there is a slang dictionary, with the use of unusual expressions and words that I found interesting to learn some new slang in English. My vote is four.

Title (Brazil): "Em Carne Viva" ("In Live Flesh")
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Unambitioned and plot less :-(
buttletuttle10 October 2004
Do I want to make an erotic movie or a thriller? Director Jane Campion seems to have had that question in mind - but, sadly, she achieved neither goal. Lots of nudity alone doesn't go for erotic, and a plot that opens many strings without putting them back together doesn't make a thriller. The plot is lengthy and not logical, the shaky handcamera and pseudo-art-like unfocused imagery gets on your nerves - and the characters' definitions are sloppy. After less than 60 minutes I started to look at my watch - death penalty for a movie, especially when it says "Thriller" on the billboard. Sorry, Ms. Campion, but the bright "The Piano" was, the grey is this one.
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Lost in translation...
chatquipeche26 September 2004
I've never been a Jane Campion fan, but I do always respect her as an original filmmaker. This time though, I am utterly lost while watching "In the cut". At the beginning of the film you get the sense that something horrible is going to happen yet the film goes on and on and on with the unstable fling (Kevin Bacon) and a black student writing an essay in blood in between--not to mention the close-up full-on sex scene with Frannie and Malloy--the intensity kept you waiting but your expecting cinematic orgasm was let down. I don't know if I was just very distracted by the deep, poetic cinemaphotography or just tried to figure out the relationship between the main characters. (still don't know why the character of Mark Rufflo had the key to Jennifer Jason Leigh's apartment, did it imply they were involved? Perhaps plots are not essential to the film author such as Campion, but I do like to know since I sat straight on the edge of my seat in the dark for almost two hours.)

The ending was also quite disappointed, kind of your typical Hollywood thriller.(no spoiler here.)Maybe I should watch it again but the blood in the bathroom somewhat put me off.

I don't think it is a badly made movie, but I guess I'm just lost in translation.......maybe I'll never get Jane Campion's movies. Oh well.
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Bad dialogue, weak story, lots of sex,, no it's not a porno...
Nocgirl727 August 2004
Warning: Spoilers
**CONTAINS SPOILER***This movie was worse than I thought it would be. The movie went no where when it first started, and I couldn't figure out what meg Ryan did for a living until it showed her in a classroom teaching. She has no personality or any charm whatsoever, and her character was not believable in the least. She lives in the ghettos and her sister is a floozy that lives above a topless bar.This very bad cop played by Mark Ruffalo comes around Meg Ryan's place and wants to question her about a body found that she knows nothing about. His partner is another foul-mouthed hotshot whose role in the movie is pretty thankless until Meg starts uncovering the fact he may have committed a couple of murders. The only shock factor in this movie is getting the chance to see Meg Ryan naked, though I think most men still prefer Halle Berry or Charlize Theron without their clothes. The part when Meg goes into the forrest with the cop to just make out and play with guns is just silly. I didnt like the fact that she moonlights with her students, especially Cornelius, who eventually went to her apartment and attacked her. I hate to say this, but she was asking for it right from the beginning. Teachers these days,,, my future kids are going to a private school. D+ for this bomb, and I gave it credit for the steamy sex scenes otherwise I would of flunked this movie bigtime.
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A Whole New Level Of Bad
hotfuzz10114 March 2004
I got a free ticket for the movies and I really wanted to see this movie, so I went on down to the Multiplex, slapped my voucher on the counter and asked for 'One for In The Cut please'.

1/2 hour later I was just about pulling my hair out. Bl00dy rope-able that I'd wasted a free ticket to the movies.

I was so bored during this movie it's unbelievable. The characters were so uninvolving and the plot so lame that I thought I'd walked into a B-Grade Erotic Thriller. I was half expecting Traci Lords to make an appearance.

Shame-shame all all involved.

A pointless, dull, graphic, waste of talent, that really could have been avoided. Which coincidently what you should do.
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