In the Cut

  • 18
  • Jane Campion (2003)
  • US / Aus
  • 113 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Susanna Moore's notoriously explicit novel gives director Jane Campion another opportunity to explore her favourite theme - the self-destructive elements of female desire. Meg Ryan stars as Frannie Avery, a New York teacher who falls for Detective Malloy (Mark Ruffalo), a man who's all wrong for her, yet helps Avery to get in touch with herself and experience unknown pleasures. But Malloy is enigmatic, if not dangerous - he's investigating a series of murders in her neighbourhood that he himself might have committed. And it's not only Ryan who's in trouble, but also her half-sister, Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Campion's trademark off-kilter camerawork matches the increasingly skewed world view of her protagonist and Ryan is a revelation, albeit doing an impression of a fragile Nicole Kidman (who acts as producer and was originally going to star). Ultimately, the film works as a study of sexual longing, but fails as a thriller. The plot mechanics are too obvious, the twist too predictable and the novel's original, searing ending has been changed. Despite the frank talk and naked bodies, this is just another Hollywood cop-out.

Plot Summary

Suspense thriller starring Meg Ryan, Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Jason Leigh. A teacher finds herself attracted to a tough detective investigating a series of murders in her neighbourhood.

Cast and crew


Frannie Avery
Meg Ryan
Det James Malloy
Mark Ruffalo
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Det Richard Rodriguez
Nick Damici
Cornelius Webb
Sharrieff Pugh
John Graham
Kevin Bacon


Jane Campion

Other Information

Colour and Black and White
Theatrical distributor: 
Edited for content.
Available on video and DVD
Released 31 Oct 2003
Certificate 18