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In the Cut (2003)

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New York writing professor, Frannie Avery, has an affair with a police detective who is investigating the murder of a beautiful young woman in her neighborhood.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Nuccio ...
Frannie's Young Father (as Micheal Nuccio)
Allison Nega ...
Young Father's Fiancee (as Alison Nega)
Dominick Aries ...
Susan Gardner ...
Daniel T. Booth ...
Frannie's Student (as Yaani King)
Zach Wegner ...
Frannie's Student (as Zack Wegner)


Frannie Avery is a New York City inner city high school English teacher, whose passion is collecting words and phrases that interest her, either because of their meaning and/or just because of the way they sound. The way that she and her paternal half sister Pauline Avery, her closest confidante, deal with men and sex has largely been affected by their father, who is working on marrying wife number five. Frannie thinks about sex more than she has it. Her lack of a sex life is further exacerbated by being the object of obsession of James Graham, a man with who she had a few casual dates and two sexual encounters, which has made her even more cautious. This complete experience is why she has a somewhat inappropriate, albeit non-sexual relationship with Cornelius Webb, one of her students. She eventually embarks on a sexual relationship with NYPD Homicide Detective Giovanni Malloy, who, along with his partner Detective Ritchie Rodriguez, are investigating the murder of a young woman, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Everything you know about desire is dead wrong.


Mystery | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality including explicit dialogue, nudity, graphic crime scenes and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



| |


Release Date:

31 October 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

En carne viva  »

Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$97,625 (USA) (24 October 2003)


$4,717,455 (USA) (21 November 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

| |


(fantasy sequences) (Sepiatone)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 Detective Rodriguez splashes Malloy with his water pistol, a girl with a short skirt and red purse hurries by them. Half a minute later, when Malloy enters the car, the same girl walks by again. See more »


[first lines]
Pauline: What does "broccoli" mean"?
Frannie: Depends on the context. Pubic hair or marijuana. It's a noun.
Pauline: And "Virginia"?
Frannie: Vagina. As in, "He penetrated her Virginia with a hammer".
See more »

Crazy Credits

Filmed 100% in New York city. See more »


Featured in At the Movies: 25 Years of Margaret & David (2011) See more »


You're No Good
by Clint Ballard Jr.
Performed by Betty Everett
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Obviously Cuts Too Deep for Some
17 November 2003 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

Deary me, some people get upset when a film isn't what they want it to be, don't they? How dare the film be what the film-makers set out to make, instead of what someone's narrow expectations dictate it should b?

Fancy In the Cut being gritty, seamy, sexy and deeply disturbing ... just like all the publicity (and the rating) warned us it would be. What a shock. How did the people expecting another Piano, or Meg Ryan Finds True Love Yet Again ever find themselves in the cinema?

As for those who have said they have walked out completely unmoved ... either they must be aliens or robots, or are fooling themselves, not wanting to acknowledge the truth of what they've seen on the screen. Seldom have I seen a film that so truly examines the dark side of our sexual impulses. I walked out quite shattered, and wandered around in a daze for a while.

Meg Ryan completely miscast? Ridiculous and insulting. How dare you tell an actress she has to be Little Mary Sunshine for the rest of her life. And she pulls it off brilliantly. She and Mark Ruffalo give the most stunning lead performances for a long time. Why? Because they're playing real, multi-layered people. Not goody-goodies or baddy-baddies.

Didn't like any of the characters? Must have a very limited range of acquaintances, or alternatively, don't like the real people you do know.

Thriller plot not thrilling? Admittedly it's not the strongest point in the film, but it has all the required shocks and surprises (and, you'd think enough gore for the modern audience), and while the revelation of the murderer is not the biggest twist ending ever, the final shot takes your breath away.

And anyway, Campion, while handling the thriller genre competently, is using it as a means to explore sexuality. And attraction. And how much of love involves physicality, carnality, trust, the desire to dominate, the desire to be dominated, and above all, the attraction of the DANGEROUS. Yes, adult stuff, not often tackled in mainstream films.

I think it's her best film ever (possibly excepting Sweetie), and I give it 9 out of 10.

192 of 292 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Mark Ruffalo is soooo hot in this movie tabitharice
Very Underated... davidkr123
nicole kid... i mean meg ryan .. afbm
OMG Meg Ryan gets naked! pug32
Malloy could still be the killer in the end? mesaydayo
This movie made me feel guilty for being male......... ludde05
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