Newest Reviews
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Iron Mask, The
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Butterfly Murders, The
Lady is a Square, The
Newest Articles
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
  In the Cut
Year: 2003
Director: Jane Campion
Stars: Meg Ryan, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Nick Damici, Sharrieff Pugh, Kevin Bacon
Genre: Sex, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Based on Susanna Moore's novel, In The Cut cruises through the bars and clubs of New York where a serial killer prowls the streets, cutting up the bodies of selected single white females. As the film opens, with 'Que Sera, Sera' playing as a lullaby for those who spurn rest, Jane Campion unveils a dreamlike soft-focus world with the hardest of centres.

Frannie Avery (Ryan), an attractive teacher, becomes embroiled in a police investigation after witnessing a man receiving oral sex beneath the Red Turtle bar: the woman involved will later become the latest fatality. When homicide cop Malloy (Ruffalo) asks her out for a drink ("Do you want me to lick your pussy? I've done pretty well everything"), Avery begins a perilous affair that will place her in grave danger.

While sister Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh) frets about marrige, sex and restraining orders, Avery must deal with four men in her life; each of whom could well be the killer: Malloy, who asks her to masturbate after phoning in with details of the latest murder; his cop buddy Rodriguez (Damici) a man who attempted to kill his own wife; ex boyfriend John (Bacon) - a stalker and possible slasher and one of Fran's students, Cornelius (Pugh), who has a hard-on for John Wayne Gacey and a penchant for composing term papers inked in blood.

Quotes from Dante's Inferno, lines from poems and prophetic messages (the 'Last Exit' sign above the freeway, near the end), the colour red (The Red Turtle, the phallic lighthouse, roses, blood, Avery's dress leading up to the finale), the three of spades, a missing charm from Avery's bracelet...... words and images to establish motivation and identity, yet In The Cut is almost an anti-thriller cocking a snook at established convention(while playing along when it suits) and driven by a raw sexual energy that will astound those who laughed at Ryan's restuarant antics in 'another film'.

Here, Ryan is a dressed-down, sweaty and sensual woman who can take and give in equal measure, whether she's being licked or fucked, chaining her lover to a radiator and riding him to a frenzy, simply pleasuring herself with fingers or caressing her body with Malloy's ID card. She's part Jane Fonda (Klute) and part wanna-be night-stick hooker from Crimes Of Passion; a woman who is uneasy and yet almost comfortable in those seedy bars, displaying an identity crisis which starts within the walls of her smoke-free apartment - four walls and fixtures adorned with posters and ornaments that scream "Fuck me". It's a courageous performance, and one that's worth watching for the things we know Ryan can do superbly, as well as for her new bag of tricks. Joining her are the excellent Mark Ruffalo - soon to be an A-list player, no doubt - and Bacon and Leigh who become more than peripheral characters despite limited screentime.

From the opening credits - the bloody N trying to join Cut (I, The Cunt would have been wholly appropriate) - to the final dreamlike nightmare, In The Cut is a triumph for both director and her leading lady, though I fancy it will take several viewings before it yields all of its secrets.

In The Cut has caused headaches for the MPAA in America, re the basement scene where a woman sucks a fully erect penis. The screening I attended at the London Film Festival was uncut and I would imagine this will be the version that plays when the film opens in the UK on 31st October. A scary movie, for reasons not entirely related to the grisly subject matter.

See it with someone you don't love.

You can read our interview with the director and stars here.
Reviewer: Steve Langton


This review has been viewed 11362 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor


Last Updated: