Chicago Sun-Times - 10/31/2003
"[A]ll of this is well done..."
The acclaimed New Zealand director Jane Campion (THE PIANO) turns her unusual artistic eye toward the urban erotic thriller genre. Based on the novel by Susanna Moore, IN THE CUT tells the story of Frannie (Meg Ryan) an English teacher living in Manhattan's East Village who finds herself mixed up in a homicide investigation after a severed head turns up in her garden. Jennifer Jason Leigh is her sexually unhinged half-sister and Mark Ruffalo plays a homicide detective who falls into bed with Frannie after she's attacked on the Lower East Side. Suspects include her stalker ex-lover (Kevin Bacon) and a troubled student (Sharrieff Pugh) who's obsessed with serial killer John Wayne Gacy. As the body count rises however, Frannie realizes that the prime suspect just may be the very cop in her bed.
If this all sounds like a by-the-numbers sex crime thriller don't worry; Campion twists the genre towards her own ends, adding multi-layered focus, deeply saturated colors, a dream-like mood and copious amounts of feminist allegorical symbolism. Meg Ryan fans should be shocked by her performance here (replete with several nude scenes), which is a major departure from her usual cute characterizations. Nicole Kidman, who starred in Campion's PORTRAIT OF A LADY served as producer. Fans of that film, and Campion's work in general, should enjoy the perverse psychosexual theatrics on display in this grim urban fairy tale.
Erotic Thrillers |
Essential Cinema |
Murder Investigations |
New York City |
Serial Killers |
Theatrical Release |
Theatrical Release: OCTOBER 22, 2003 (NY/LA) OCTOBER 31, 2003 (EXPANDS)