Thursday, October 30, 2014

"In the Cut": Jane Campion's film of Susanna Moore's police "love triangle" in NYC comes across as implausible

In the Cut” (2003), a French-produced (English language) police thriller set in New York City, seems a bit cynical now when viewed on DVD.  It comes from director Jane Campion (“The Piano”) and a novel by Susanna Moore.  The film presents a high school English teacher Frannie Avery, socializing inappropriately with a student in a bar, when they witness some explicit behavior.   Soon, Frannie is getting visits from a detective Malloy (Mark Ruffalo) about a murder of a young woman in a courtyard near her apartment.  Soon, her own sister Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh) meets a grisly end too, as Fannnie finds the dismembered corpse.
There follows the improbable spectacle of Frannie’s having a “relationship” with Malloy, yet afraid of him as she thinks there is reason to suspect him of the murders.  Some of the scenes are quite grisly and others show a rather unbelievable amount of passion given the circumstances.

The official site for the DVD is still out there, here  (Sony Screen Gems). The film can be rented on YouTube for $2.99.  I was still living in Minneapolis in early 2003 and I’m surprised I missed it.  

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