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In The Cut

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: In The Cut

Starring: Meg Ryan, Mark Ruffalo
Director: Jane Campion
Rated: R
RunTime: 119 Minutes
Release Date: October 2003
Genres: Drama, Romance

*Also starring: Kevin Bacon, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Nick Damici, Sharrieff Pugh, Frank Harts

Review by Steve Rhodes
2 stars out of 4

IN THE CUT, disastrously directed by Jane Campion, is a DOA thriller that, when it should be boiling, can't even warm up to a slow simmer. The polar opposite of an edge-of-your-seat production, it is a leaden film that is liable to put you to sleep in your seat. The movie makes you wait a full one-and-one-half hours before anything even remotely exciting happens, and, when it does, Campion cuts away fairly quickly so the scene produces almost no impact on the audience. Only a good cast, delivering uniformly nice performances, and a few good laughs make the movie at all worthwhile.

Based on a novel by Susanna Moore, the movie concerns Professor Frannie Avery (Meg Ryan), who teaches writing at an urban university. Since a body part was found buried in the garden below her apartment, Detective Malloy (Mark Ruffalo, YOU CAN COUNT ON ME) interviews Frannie, as well as her neighbors. Although she increasingly suspects that Malloy is the killer, she has an affair with him. He lives with his ex-wife, he claims, so that he can help her raise their kids.

The early buzz for the film has centered on the explicitness of Ryan's nudity and sexuality in the picture. While technically correct, Campion films the sex so that it is devoid of any hint of real eroticism. They only thing we are sure of is that Frannie is a firm believer in safe sex.

After throwing off several obviously false clues, the predictable story ends by revealing who the killer is, but anyone who is paying attention will have long since guessed his identity. His unveiling is such a "Well, duh!" moment that I would expect the scene to elicit scornful laughter from most audiences.

IN THE CUT runs 1:58. It is rated R for "strong sexuality including explicit dialogue, nudity, graphic crime scenes and language" and would be acceptable for older teenagers.

Copyright 2003 Steve Rhodes

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