the fresh films reviews

S I N C E   1 9 9 7



In the Cut (2003)

Directed by:
Jane Campion
In the Cut
119 minutes
Produced by:
Nicole Kidman
Laurie Parker
Written by:
Jane Campion
Susanna Moore

Cast includes:

Frannie Meg Ryan
Pauline Jennifer Jason Leigh
Detective Malloy Mark Ruffalo
John Graham Kevin Bacon



It might be harsh to claim that In the Cut is a movie made by and starring people that are currently struggling to find good projects in the business, but some of them might just still agree. There is hardly any doubt that, now in their forties, Meg Ryan and Jennifer Jason Leigh cannot any longer rely on being offered roles that for the past twenty years have instigated their prominent, but dissimilar careers. And one could also make a good point claiming that Jane Campion's post-Piano directorial record has been somewhat disappointing.

The problem with In the Cut is not these issues per se, but they seem to explain some of its lack of poignancy. Because this is a well-intended, fairly acted and well-attempted movie that just hasn't got the potential. It is blessed with a lacklustre story (reminiscent of those late 80s thrillers where the question surrounding who can and cannot be trusted is more of an issue created by the plot's need to make suspense than by the actual nature of the characters) and that is rarely a promising foundation for a movie.

It seems to me logical why these girls have chosen to do this movie, albeit for different reasons. Meg Ryan struggles for roles (obviously), and with this one she goes to lengths she wouldn't have earlier in her career in order to try and re-launch her position. Jennifer Jason Leigh's part, however, is close to typecasting. This is a role she knows all too well to make an enthusiastic effort when surrounded by material as bleak as this. But still, one has the feeling that with Leigh's range and creativity, things aren't looking quite as doomed as with Ryan.

There are, of course, one career heading in the other direction here, and for Mark Ruffalo, In the Cut, might as well by just another positive step-stone. There's nothing in here to halt any movement. For that to happen In the Cut would have had to be a bad movie. It isn't, it's just a fruitless, uncreative humdrum.

Copyright 10.9.2004 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang [HAVE YOUR SAY]