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Following the gruesome murder of a young woman in her neighborhood, a self-determined woman living in New York City--as if to test the limits of her own safety--propels herself into an impossibly risky sexual liaison. Soon she grows increasingly wary about the motives of every man with whom she has contact--and about her own. Written by
The lines, "Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms, Alone and palely loitering?...", are from "La Belle Dane Sans Merci" by John Keats. See more »
When Franny sits down with Cornelius the first time and she opens her notebook, the "new word" he gives her is already written there, before he tells her. See more »
What does "broccoli" mean"?
Depends on the context. Pubic hair or marijuana. It's a noun.
Vagina. As in, "He penetrated her Virginia with a hammer".
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Meg Ryan gives what may well be the breakthrough performance of her career in 'In the Cut,' a violent, erotic thriller from maverick filmmaker Jane Campion. Ryan plays Frannie, a college English instructor who is instinctively drawn to the seamier side of life. When women in her Manhattan neighborhood start falling victim to a grizzly serial killer, Frannie, as a possible witness, becomes a prime source of interest, both professionally and personally, for a homicide detective named Malloy, who has some troubling sexual proclivities of his own to deal with. Attracted by his edgy darkness and smoldering sexuality, Frannie succumbs to his advances, fully cognizant of the possible danger he represents. Is the law enforcement official as much of a threat to this young woman as the psychopath going about town decapitating and dismembering the local ladies? It is this kind of moral ambiguity that informs the entire movie.
From the very outset, Campion makes it clear that we are not in for a conventional police procedural. She is obviously more interested in character and mood than in the niceties of a well-oiled plot and streamlined exposition. Frannie is far from being the helpless victim or plucky heroine one usually finds at the center of such tales; she is a complex, moody, taciturn woman who seems to be drifting passively through life, with little passion, conviction or purpose to make any of it worthwhile. Even when it comes to her sexual obsessions, it often feels as if she is just going through the motions. It is hard for us to get a bead on her, for she is a perfect reflection of the world she inhabits, a world without a clear moral compass - so much so that we often don't know what we are supposed to think of her or the other people with whom she comes in contact. The script plays up the sense of dislocation by having characters appear and disappear seemingly at random throughout the movie, sometimes serving as little more than red herrings for both the story and Frannie's life. This often makes it so that we in the audience feel clueless as to where exactly the film is headed and what the overall purpose of it really is. It's often hard for us to get our bearings, yet, it is this very ambiguity, this sense of being rudderless and confused, that lifts the film above the tired conventions of the genre. In fact, the film is at its weakest when it concentrates on the intricacies of the plot - the resolution is remarkably mundane - and at its strongest when it merely records the eccentricities and passions of its two enigmatic characters.
The sexual content of the film is highly charged but not overtly offensive, with one glaring exception, at least in the 'unrated' version (I assume this does not apply to the version released to theaters). Early in the film, we are treated to a graphic, hard core close-up of an act of fellatio that clearly is not simulated. Consider yourself forewarned.
Ryan has never been better than she is here. She plays Frannie almost as if she were one of the urban walking dead, just right for a modern woman who feels no real emotional connection with the world and the people around her.
Mark Ruffalo is excellent as the cop who may be more of a threat to Frannie than the killer who's terrorizing the area. Almost as an afterthought, Kevin Bacon makes little more than a cameo appearance, overacting in the role of Frannie's stalker ex-boyfriend.
'In the Cut' is a subtle little mood piece that is more about observing behavior than it is about searching for a killer. Those looking for an intensely plotted thriller may not be as intrigued by this film as those searching for a psychosexual character study. It's the atmosphere and the performances that count in this film.
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