Rhonda P. (rhonnie40) from CHARLES CITY, IA Reviewed on 12/24/2012...
Interesting movie to say the least.
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Elizabeth G. (MissEliza) from CLINTON, MA Reviewed on 6/20/2009...
Mark Ruffalo... I love this man! I thought the movie was pointless and a little bit borderline porn. I didn't get the relationships between the characters and I felt like some points/ Kevin Bacon's whole character was added just to fill up the time.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
OMG: Meg Ryan as you've NEVER seen her before!
Victor Chen | Hacienda Hts., CA USA | 11/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just came back from watching this movie about an hour ago and wanted to write a review while it's still fresh in my mind. Before anything else, let me just say, Meg Ryan's performance is SPECTACULAR! It's nothing short of breathtaking. I think this is the performance of her career. Ryan boldly sheds her previously earned image as "Amercia's Sweetheart", and completely reinvents herself for this movie. This time, Ryan plays a quiet, sullen, reserved inner city schoolteacher; her character is a contradiciton, introverted and subdued yet at the same time just SEETHING with dark, delicious, pent-up sensuality. I mean, if you're a heterosexual male, you just GOTTA see her! Dayam! Ryan's character "Frannie" is complex and multifaceted, as is the film; it was a risk, but it works. As Eber said, Ryan's performance is utterly flawless. It by itself is completely worth the price of admission, and will direct all attention away from any inadequacies in the plot :-)Okay, Meg Ryan aside, the movie was a solid thriller that kept me guessing all the way to the end. The obligate murders are gruesomely described, but actual gore on screen is kept at a tasteful minimum. The plot at times border on derivative and uninspired for this genre, but by and large it was tight enough to serve as an adequate vehicle for Ms. Ryan to burn the screen with her presence. (I know, I promise to stop ranting about her). Director Jane Campion did an outstanding job with the cinematography and the general feel of the film. For example, the camera is deliberately out of focus around the edges during certain scenes, giving the film a surrealistic, dreamy yet visceral feel. Again, this was a risk that surprisingly worked for me. Symbolism in the film is rich and beautiful, especially the poetry written on the subway train walls, read by Ryan's sultry voice in her mind. And finally, I'd just like to mention that Jennifer Jason Leigh, who is also a dangerously skilled actress (just watch "Single White Female" or "Washington Square") was tragically underused in this film. At her best, Leigh is every bit as good an actress as Ryan, but she simply wasn't given the chance to shine in this movie. For the role of Frannie's sister Pauline, a lesser actress would have done the job, which could have been done instead of wasting Leigh's precious time :-) But I'm still always glad to see her on screen as well.In closing, if you're even remotely a fan of Meg Ryan, go see this film now! Don't wait, do it now! You WON'T be disappointed. Oh man, Meg Ryan will be in my dreams tonight... ;-)"
Excellent Thriller From an Acclaimed Director
ALET1984 | Brooklyn, NY United States | 10/22/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To be honest, I kind of thought the movie was going to be bad (I didn't like the book), but I went to see it anyway, since I learned that Jane Campion was the director. Having seen and loved her "Angel at my Table," "The Piano," and "Holy Smoke," I was interested in finding out why exactly this independent New Zealand director left Australia and went, so to speak, "Hollywood." Well, it turns out that Campion was only doing a favor for Nicole Kidman, who was going to play the lead role (Nic decided against it later on, and became one of the executive producers instead).The film itself is gorgeous to look at, although the camera work is a bit shaky, and there are like... hundreds of meaningless close-ups that can drive you totally crazy. And guess what, Meg Ryan DOES take her top off (if you're interested in that sort of thing). But this movie is also very violent and brutal; I heard it almost got an NC-17 rating (our censors cut out a seven-minute chunk of footage with most shocking sex and violence and rated the film R).Basically, the story is about a somewhat attractive English teacher named Franny (played by Ryan), who suddenly finds herself in the middle of a police investigation when a girl is found murdered near her house. The lead detective working on the case meets and talks to her, and she's instantly attracted. Then, to make things even more complicated (as if the sexually unruly relationship between her and the police officer wasn't enough), Franny remembers that she saw the dead girl somewhere before.The story is quite interesting, though the ending is fairly simple and predictable. I'd recommend this movie to anyone who loves "romantic thrillers," but don't expect much from it. The acting is excellent (especially Ryan's), the cinematography is beautiful, the music is good, and the plot won't make you wanna yawn, and that's the important thing."
In The Cut Doesn't Cut It
prisrob | New EnglandUSA | 12/01/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Susanna Moore wrote an exquisite murder/suspense/erotic novel, "In the Cut". Jane Campion directed an erratic movie. Meg Ryan plays Frannie Avery, a 30 something, creative writing professor. She lives and works in bohemian Manhattan. Frannie has her own personal demons and emptiness. One evening she stops in at a bar with one of her students, and is witness to an erotic act between a woman and a man who has a striking arm tatoo. A few days later, Detective Mallory, the man with the tatoo, played by handsome and dark Mark Ruffalo, stops by to discuss a woman's murder in Frannie's neighborhood. This is the first step into the abyss of sexual intrigue and erotic vulnerability for Frannie. Her affair with Det. Mallory takes off and through this affair the movie takes on a powerful and harsh mystique. The movie itself is lurid and lifeless. Meg Ryan's performance is strong but doesn't fit this movie. The movie is not entertaining- the emptiness of the main character has spilled onto the screen and takes over the movie. The murder/suspense you expect is missing- the ending is sudden and corrupt. Jennifer Jason Leigh plays Pauline, Frannie's sister and her performance is stilted at best. Nicole Kidman is a producer of the movie, a little revealed fact. The movie will sell well in DVD form if only for the nude Meg Ryan scene and the erotic acts portrayed. Susanna Moore deserved better.prisrob"
A Darkly Erotic Thriller!
Jana L. Perskie | New York, NY USA | 04/03/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
""In The Cut" is an adaptation of Susanna Moore's excellent novel of the same title, published in 1995. Director Jane Campion has departed significantly from the novel in several places, especially with the ending, but has managed to capture much of the book's eroticism, dark edginess, and palpable suspense.Frannie Avery, superbly acted by Meg Ryan, is an attractive 35 year-old divorcee who lives in a two room apartment on Washington Square. She teaches creative writing at NYU to a group of inner-city teens. She is also a connoisseur and scholar of language and is writing a book on street slang and its derivatives. Frannie takes chances. She is a sexual risk taker. However, she lives in her own private world where she spends an incredible amount of time pondering the nature of language, which leaves her vulnerable to her surroundings...and reality. Frannie is not at all street savvy. And her nearsightedness allows her to disengage even more from the potentially dangerous world in which she lives. One late afternoon, in a neighborhood bar, she makes a trip to the ladies room and inadvertently walks-in on a couple engaged in an intimate act. The man's face is obscured by shadow but she does notice that he has a unique tattoo on the inside of his wrist. A few days later a NYC homicide detective, James E. Malloy (Mark Ruffalo), seeks Frannie out for an interview. There has been a brutal murder in the neighborhood. The victim is the woman Frannie saw performing the sex act in the bar. The evening Frannie saw her was her last.
Malloy takes risks also. He totally defies all rules about relationships between a detective and potential witness and acts on the tremendous sexual attraction between Frannie and himself. Malloy epitomizes the "tough guy with a badge," his frank blunt language adding to Frannie's turn-on. From the first, however, she knew that Malloy had a tattoo on his wrist - a tattoo she had seen once before.Jennifer Jason Leigh plays Pauline, Frannie's spacey, obsessive half-sister and the person Frannie is closest to and loves. She lives above a topless bar in downtown Manhattan and the affection both women feel for the erotic dancers, the entire ambiance of the club and its proximity to their lives, reestablishes the sense of careless oblivion to danger. Together the two ponder the ups and downs of being female, discuss sexuality and romance and their father's many foibles.Kevin Bacon is Frannie's off-the-wall ex-boyfriend who stalks her and maintains a threatening presence throughout. And Sharrieff Pugh is excellent as one of Frannie's brightest students who is fixated upon John Wayne Gacy. Jane Campion, an extraordinary director, has not given us a typical mystery thriller about a vicious serial killer. "In The Cut" is more an exploration of the sexuality and inner life of an intelligent, creative, emotionally starved women approaching middle age. Detective Mallory's aggressive masculinity and the threat of the physical danger which surrounds her jar Frannie awake. The films portrays an urban environment of muted violence just waiting to explode and the colors and sounds of Campion's New York add to the building tension. There are some superbly staged sequences which give a hallucinatory, almost nightmarish quality to the scenes. The intense and honest performances really compensate for the movie's flaws. I found myself totally absorbed. Recommended - but be warned, this is not a movie for the sqeamish or faint of heart!
A trip into a kinky sexual underworld.
M. J Leonard | Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA United States | 08/03/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I must confess, that Susanna Moore's novella is probably one of the most memorable books that I've ever read. I loved its raw sexual intensity, its dark, dangerous sexual underworld, and the fact that it never compromised and shied away from the smut-ridden side of life. This movie version, directed by Jane Campion, and starring Meg Ryan and Mark Ruffalo is, from the outset, a pretty accurate account of the book. But I'm in two minds about this movie - there is no doubt that it's an honest portrayal of graphic sleaze, but the movie ultimately suffers from a kind of arty pretentiousness, and a monotone, almost dazed performance by Meg Ryan. The movie isn't as bad as all the critics are saying it is, but it will probably only remain memorable for no other reason than as a showpiece for Meg's boobs and lank hair.
In the Cut offers a psychological character study wrapped in a murder mystery, where the identity of the villain is not the focus of the movie. The film does have an unconventional power and there is certainly some depth and innovation - witness New York burnished in vibrant colours of burnt orange and gold. Meg Ryan is Frannie Thurston, an accomplished English professor and intelligent lover of words. She discovers that she has a sexual hunger that has gone unsatisfied for too long, when one afternoon, while tutoring one of her students, she wanders into the dimly lit basement of a club and happens upon a man and woman having oral sex.
She notices that the woman has long blue fingernails and the man, an unusual tattoo. Shortly thereafter, she is told there is a serial killer on the loose and that parts of the latest victim were found in her own garden As the killer threatens to strike again, she discovers that the murder victim had blue fingernails and that Detective Giovanni Malloy (Mark Ruffalo), the policeman who's investigating the crime, has the same tattoo on exactly the same part of his body. As Frannie becomes involved with Malloy her pent-up sex drive gets a sudden fetishistic jump-start of its own. She can't stop her dangerous sexual relationship with Malloy even though she suspects that he may well be the psychopath.
So Meg and Mark appear nude in several important scenes, and they have sex in her strangely lit, shadowy and out-of focus apartment. And although Meg's nudity is somewhat contrived, she does a good job during the first half of the film with an understated, subtle performance. Frannie is a complex, desperate, but flawed character, and Ryan effectively shows her naivety, and at times, stupidity. She knows her relationship with Malloy is inappropriate, but she gains a sort of carnal satisfaction and internal strength from her own newly discovered masochism. Mark Ruffalo is terrific as Malloy - he has a gruff sexiness, a blue-collar chic and suave, seductive coolness that is absolutely riveting to watch. Jennifer Jason Lee is also pretty good as Fannie's tortured sister Pauline. Leigh brings compassion and a quiet sadness to Pauline, whose desperate attempts to find her one true love has gotten stalking charges put on her.
The camerawork is, at times, too jittery and self consciously arty. And people are constantly bathed in dark hues, so sometimes it's a struggle to see what is going on. Frannie also does some really silly things, like wondering along deserted, garbage-strewn back alleys late at night when she's already been told that a serial killer is on the loose. In the Cut may be nothing more than a kinky, R-rated romp, a late night soft-core porn thriller masquerading as an art piece. Yet, with all its sexual provocativeness, there is something definitely likable about the film - this viewer, however, is still not quite sure what it is. Mike Leonard August 04.