IN THE CUT

Content -4
Quality
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Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: October 22, 2003

Starring: Meg Ryan, Mark Ruffalo, Kevin
Bacon, Jennifer Jason Leigh,
Nick Damici, and Sharrieff
Pugh

Genre: Thriller/Psychological
Thriller

Audience: Adults REVIEWER: Dr. Tom
Snyder Meg Ryan, Hollywood’s
girl next door, goes slumming
in an erotic psychological
thriller from Australia’s
post-modernist, post-feminist
filmmaker, Jane Campion of THE
PIANO. This confused, and
confusing, tale of an oddball
poetry teacher and an oddball
tough cop is a waste of time
and mental activity. In the
story, Meg Ryan plays Frannie,
a frumpy poetry teacher whose
IQ-challenged sister, Pauline,
played by an overweight
Jennifer Jason Leigh, lives in
a small apartment atop a noisy
strip bar. The police find a
dead woman’s body near
Frannie’s apartment,
however. Michael, a crude but
handsome policeman played by
Mark Ruffalo, gets suspicious
when he discovers that Frannie
visited the same bar, the Red
Turtle, on the same night that
the victim disappeared after
also visiting the bar. Despite
his suspicions, Michael and
Frannie begin a hot affair
that leaves both of them
consumed with passion that
seems to be turning to
love. As more dismembered
bodies appear, it becomes
clear that there’s a serial
killer on the loose. Is it the
disturbed guy who slept with
Frannie one night and now is
stalking her? Is it the black
student she’s tutoring, who
has an obvious crush on her?
Or, could it even be Michael,
who Frannie thinks she
glimpsed getting a sexual
favor at the Red Turtle on the
night in question? The ads and
reviews describe IN THE CUT as
an erotic thriller, but it’s
more like sleazy softcore
pornography. Both main
characters are extremely
unlikable. Furthermore,
director Jane Campion, who
co-wrote the script with the
novelist, Susanna Moore,
places a silly post-feminist
spin on the story, by making
the heroine a sensitive
repressed intellectual who is
both repulsed and attracted by
the sleazier aspects of life,
including the sexist, but
sensitive, cop. In fact, the
characters are so unrealistic
and confusing in this movie
that it may remind viewers of
those shlock horror movies
where the people are so stupid
that they always manage to go
into the most obvious place
where the mad killer has gone.
For example, Frannie enters a
steamy bathroom in one scene
even though it is clear that
the killer, or someone, may
have harmed the character who
lives there and may still be
lurking there. Also, the
misunderstandings between
Frannie and Michael could
easily be cleared up if either
one of them had confided more
in the other person. Campion
applies her usual artsy style
to this material. For
instance, the color red
becomes an important motif in
the movie, as do lighthouses.
Thus, when Campion starts
linking the red and lighthouse
motifs together, it becomes
obvious that something super
significant is going on in the
story. Her use of these motifs
is unenlightening, however,
especially because the main
characters are so uninspiring.
Adding insult to injury,
Campion uses the color red to
throw a couple red herrings
toward vigilant moviegoers. Of
course, the lighthouse motif
is supported by references to
Virginia Woolf’s celebrated,
but ultimately vacuous, proto
feminist tome, TO THE
LIGHTHOUSE. How much more
heavy handed can you
get? Along with its
pseudo-intellectual, artsy
approach to its forgettable
material, IN THE CUT contains
very explicit foul language,
sex, gore, and nudity. This
crude mixture should have
earned this movie an NC-17
rating instead of an R. Better
yet, the movie should not have
been released at all. Please
address your comments to: Amy
Pascal, Jeff Blake, and Yair
Landar Vice Chairman Sony
Pictures Entertainment 10202
West Washington Blvd. Culver
City, CA 90232-3195 Phone:
(310) 244-4000 Fax: (310)
244-2626 Web Page:
www.spe.sony.com/

Rating: R

Runtime: 118 minutes

Distributor: Screen Gems/Sony

Director: Jane Campion

Executive Producer:

Producer: Laurie Parker

Writer: Jane Campion and Susanna
Moore BASED ON THE NOVEL BY:
Susanna Moore

Address Comments To:

Amy Pascal, Jeff Blake, and Yair Landar
Vice Chairman
Sony Pictures Entertainment
10202 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
Phone: (310) 244-4000
Fax: (310) 244-2626
Web Page: www.spe.sony.com/

Content:

(RoRo, FeFeFe, Ho, LLL, VVV, SSS, NNN, AA, D, MM) Strong Romantic worldview with silly, confused, odd, but very strong, feminist viewpoint, and excessive, explicit foul language, violence, sex, and nudity, as well as light homosexual and bisexual references; at least 66 mostly strong obscenities, five strong profanities, three light profanities, and dog eats its own feces; bloody, gory aftermaths of serial killings with lots of blood and some body parts in several scenes, such as decapitated heads, woman’s arm, and crime scenes splattered with blood, and implied violence and threats of violence, plus woman becomes hysterical and weakly hits men in a couple scenes; graphic scenes of depicted fornication and other sexuality, visits to nude bar, depicted masturbation, implied oral sex, possible sodomy, passionate kissing and groping, minor pimp character, light homosexual and bisexual references, and frank sexual dialogue; brief shots of full male nudity, shadowy shot of full female nudity, many shots of upper and rear female nudity, rear male nudity, and many shots of upper male nudity; alcohol use and abuse; smoking; and, generally sleazy, vulgar, promiscuous behavior.

GENRE: Thriller/Psychological Thriller

RoRo

FeFeFe

Ho

LLL

VVV

SSS

NNN

AA

D

MM

Summary:

IN THE CUT stars Meg Ryan as Frannie, a frumpy poetry teacher who may know the identity of a serial killer and who falls in lust with the enigmatic detective investigating the bloody murders. IN THE CUT is a pretentious post-feminist flick that contains explicit foul language, sex, gore, and nudity.

Review:

Meg Ryan, Hollywood’s girl next door, goes slumming in an erotic psychological thriller from Australia’s post-modernist, post-feminist filmmaker, Jane Campion of THE PIANO. This confused, and confusing, tale of an oddball poetry teacher and an oddball tough cop is a waste of time and mental activity.

In the story, Meg Ryan plays Frannie, a frumpy poetry teacher whose IQ-challenged sister, Pauline, played by an overweight Jennifer Jason Leigh, lives in a small apartment atop a noisy strip bar. The police find a dead woman’s body near Frannie’s apartment, however. Michael, a crude but handsome policeman played by Mark Ruffalo, gets suspicious when he discovers that Frannie visited the same bar, the Red Turtle, on the same night that the victim disappeared after also visiting the bar. Despite his suspicions, Michael and Frannie begin a hot affair that leaves both of them consumed with passion that seems to be turning to love.

As more dismembered bodies appear, it becomes clear that there’s a serial killer on the loose. Is it the disturbed guy who slept with Frannie one night and now is stalking her? Is it the black student she’s tutoring, who has an obvious crush on her? Or, could it even be Michael, who Frannie thinks she glimpsed getting a sexual favor at the Red Turtle on the night in question?

The ads and reviews describe IN THE CUT as an erotic thriller, but it’s more like sleazy softcore pornography. Both main characters are extremely unlikable. Furthermore, director Jane Campion, who co-wrote the script with the novelist, Susanna Moore, places a silly post-feminist spin on the story, by making the heroine a sensitive repressed intellectual who is both repulsed and attracted by the sleazier aspects of life, including the sexist, but sensitive, cop. In fact, the characters are so unrealistic and confusing in this movie that it may remind viewers of those shlock horror movies where the people are so stupid that they always manage to go into the most obvious place where the mad killer has gone. For example, Frannie enters a steamy bathroom in one scene even though it is clear that the killer, or someone, may have harmed the character who lives there and may still be lurking there. Also, the misunderstandings between Frannie and Michael could easily be cleared up if either one of them had confided more in the other person.

Campion applies her usual artsy style to this material. For instance, the color red becomes an important motif in the movie, as do lighthouses. Thus, when Campion starts linking the red and lighthouse motifs together, it becomes obvious that something super significant is going on in the story. Her use of these motifs is unenlightening, however, especially because the main characters are so uninspiring. Adding insult to injury, Campion uses the color red to throw a couple red herrings toward vigilant moviegoers. Of course, the lighthouse motif is supported by references to Virginia Woolf’s celebrated, but ultimately vacuous, proto feminist tome, TO THE LIGHTHOUSE. How much more heavy handed can you get?

Along with its pseudo-intellectual, artsy approach to its forgettable material, IN THE CUT contains very explicit foul language, sex, gore, and nudity. This crude mixture should have earned this movie an NC-17 rating instead of an R. Better yet, the movie should not have been released at all.

In Brief: