In The Cut

A Film Review By The Mike

Rating:R for lots of unnecessary blood and repulsive nudity
Starring: Meg Ryan, Mark Ruffalo, Kevin Bacon
Directed By: Jane Campion

Final Grade:

It’s hard to figure out the movie that is known as In the Cut. The film itself isn’t so hard to figure out, but the fact that the people who made it actually made it in this fashion is.

Director Jane Campion knows how to make a movie about desire. Her 1994 film, The Piano, is the perfect example of this type of film. So why can’t she even make it work again, if only to a level of decency. Maybe she just couldn’t translate to the modern setting, or maybe she was working from a worthless script, I don’t know. But I know that any audience in America would be bored out of their mind by this emotionless and dry film.

The film is a story about the relationship between Frannie Walsh (Meg Ryan), a middle-aged and lonely English teacher and Giovanni Malloy (Mark Ruffalo), a homicide detective in his early 30’s. It’s also about a slew of murders that seem to be somehow related to Fran and that Malloy can’t seem to crack. It’s also about sex.

The latter is what the film focuses on for most of its runtime. You see, Fran likes sex, and doesn’t appear to be the type of character that refrains from it, even when approached by a schizophrenic and dirty Kevin Bacon. Malloy also happens to be a “sexual being”. The film makes these points very obvious, trying to create a thriller that’ll play like Basic Instinct. Unfortunately, their end result isn’t worthy of late night Cinemax.

Granted, In the Cut isn’t the worst film you’ll see. It’s decently acted and directed, and the plot does fit together rather loosely. It just doesn’t have any entertainment value and or heart. Further proof that bad independent cinema is much worse than almost any bad flick to come out of Hollywood.

The most confusing thing about In the Cut is the title. After sitting through the film’s two hours, and then wondering about it for sometime, I realized that In the Cut must be symbolic of the film. Because In the Cut is like a small particle of dirt. It’s meaningless and inconsequential, and can easily be brushed away. But if you let that speck of dirt get to you, like getting it trapped in a cut on you finger, you’ll be annoyed by it for days. Soon it will be forgotten and once again useless. But for a while, it’ll just bug you and make you mad.

In other words, avoid it.

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