In The Cut

2006-03-30 12:28

Frannie Avery (Meg Ryan) is a self-determined writing professor living alone in New York. Though she studies street slang and detective novels, she keeps herself at a safe distance from the gritty side of the city. But everything changes one night when Frannie walks in on an intimate moment between a man and a woman. She is paralyzed by the display before her, and though she does not see the man's face, she cannot forget the tattoo on his wrist or his brazen stare.

Soon after, Frannie learns of a grisly murder near her apartment when a police detective insists on questioning her. The alluring Detective Malloy (Mark Ruffalo) believes she may know something. At first, Malloy mystifies Frannie, and although she tries to keep him at a distance, Frannie becomes attracted.

As the investigation continues, Frannie finds herself propelled further and further into both the increasingly gruesome murder case and an increasingly risky liaison with Malloy, who opens her up in ways she cannot fathom. When a masked assailant attacks her, it becomes clear that Frannie can no longer trust anyone. Not her intense young student Cornelius (Sharrieff Pugh), who is writing a paper about the "innocence" of serial killer John Wayne Gacy. Not her disquieting former lover John (Kevin Bacon) who follows her every move. And definitely not Malloy, who now rouses not only her deepest desires but her darkest suspicions about the danger encroaching around her.

What the critics are saying:

"Wavering between romanticism and gritty reality, it ultimately slips through the crack..."
- Stella Papamichael, BBCi Film

"In the Cut isn't just a movie about decapitation; it's a decapitated movie. It has no idea where its head is at."
- Stephanie Zacharek,

"Unquestionably the most ambitious and important film to come along in months."
- Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

Meg Ryan is excellent in her first foray into "serious" acting - but Jane Campion's beautifully shot thriller just doesn't hang together.

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