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2003 Jane Campion

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In The Cut


Jane Campion

Critical Review and Bibliography by Naasir Taff (30352715)

-PART 1-



Director: Jane Campion
Producer: Nicole Kidman and Laurie Parker
Writing: Susanna Moore (Novel and Screenplay)

Jane Campion (screenplay)

Cinematographer: Dion Bebe
Editor: Alexandre de Franceshi
Production Company: Pathe Production

Pathe Production [gb]

Red Turtle [us]


Jennifer Jason Leigh : Pauline

Meg Ryan : Frannie
Mark Ruffalo : Detective Malloy
Nick Damici : Detective Rodriquez
Kevin Bacon : John Graham

Alison Nega : Frannie’s Young Father

Dominick Aries : Attentive Husband
Susan Gardner : Perfect Wife
Sharrieff Pugh : Cornelius Webb
Heather Litteer : Angela Sands
Yaani King : Frannie’s Student
Frank Harts : Frannie’s Student
Sebastion Sozzi : Frannie’s Student
Zach Wegner : Frannie’s Student

(as Zack Wegner)

Release Dates-

Country Date

Canada (Toronto Film Festival) 9 September 2003

USA (Limited) 22 October 2003
Spain (Valladolid International Film Festival) 31 October 2003
UK 31 October 2003
USA 31 October 2003
Japan (Tokyo International Film Festival) 3 November 2003
Australia 13 November 2003
France 17 December 2003
Switzerland (French speaking region) 17 December 2003
Italy 19 December 2003
Switzerland (Italian speaking region) 19 December 2003
Philippines 4 February 2004
Hong Kong 5 February 2004
Israel 5 February 2004
New Zealand 12 February 2004
Thailand 12 March 2004
Japan 3 April 2004
Brazil 9 April 2004
South Korea 23 April 2004
Argentina (video premiere) 19 August 2004
United Arab Emirates 8 September 2004
Germany 30 September 2004

Source : Release dates for In The Cut, 2003


Box Office Figures-

Budget - $ 12,000,000 (estimated)

Box Office - $4,717,455
VHS Rentals- $780,000
-It’s a disaster, when a film cant make their money back, not even half if their budget.
Source : http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/in_the_cut/


Surprisingly, there are only 3 awards where given or nominated for this film.

-Australian Cinematographers Society-

Year : 2004

Result : Won
Award : Golden Tripod
Category/Recipient(s) : Dion Beebe

Year : 2003
Result : Nominated
Award : Golden Frog
Category/Recipient(s) : Dion Beebe

-Valladolid International Film Festival-
Year : 2003
Result : Nominated
Award : Golden Spike
Category/Recipient(s): Jane Campion
Source: Awards for In the Cut, 2003



Printed Media Reviews

Ann Hornaday. "'In the Cut': Provocatively Predictable". In: The Washington Post (USA), 31 October 2003, Pg. C1+C5, (NP)
Denby, David. "The Current Cinema: Creep Shows". In: The New Yorker, 27 October 2003, Pg. 112-113, (MG)
Desson Howe. "Ryan Drops the Cute 'In the Cut'". In: The Washington Post (USA), 31 October 2003, Pg. 43+47, (NP)
Gillespie, Eleanor Ringel. "Meg Ryan masks her trademark adorableness for the unsettling 'In the Cut'". In: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, GA, USA), Vol. 55, No. 304, 31 October 2003, Pg. E1+E11, (NP)

Owen Gleiberman. "Girls Gone Mild (F)". In: Entertainment Weekly (USA), Iss. 735, 31 October 2003, Pg. 51-52, (MG)

Peter Travers. "In The Cut: It's a tricked-up "Looking For Mr. Goodbar". but Meg Ryan excels. (**)". In: Rolling Stone 106pp (USA), Iss. 935, 13 November 2003, (MG)
Janson, Malena. "Menlös hjältinna provocerar (4/6)". In: Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden), 27 February 2004, (NP)


Josh Rottenberg. "Sex Ed". In: Premiere (USA), Vol. 17, Iss. 3, 1 November 2003, Pg. 86-88+123, (MG)

Rottenberg, Josh. "First Look: In The Cut". In: Premiere (USA), Vol. 16, Iss. 6, February 2003, Pg. 32-33, (MG)

Original Literary Source

Susanna Moore. "In the Cut". Alfred A. Knopf (New York), 1995,


I couldn’t find an interview with the director or the producer, only the 2 main characters and cast, but its good enough though

-An Interview with Mark Buffalo

- http://movies.about.com/cs/mylifewithoutme/a/markruffalolife_3.htm

-An Interview with Meg Ryan - -


Information Collection/Online Presence.

All the gathered information above and researched had done generally taken directly from the Internet and printed media. The basic step of searching this film information is just by typing down the name of the film on yahoo search engine, where it provides quite a handful information but not as many as I expected to find and where it should have been, because this movie could have been given a much wider and bigger credits and reviews from my point of view that is. One of the reason is because, this film is produced by one of the most influential film actress in the world, Nicole Kidman and directed by a highly respected female director Jane Campion who did The Piano and Holy Smoke which won few big awards in the previous years. Considering this film is pretty new, still a lot of reviews and literature comment and research need to be posted. The best and general information for this film in http://imbd.com , not surprised, because that’s the only site that offers the broad and considered in depth information any movie ever produced. The gathered information and researched have provided not all but only some information for the critical review and the critical up take and this is because, the review is from my own point of view and the information only as a basis and follow up.
Critical Review.
Synopsis/ Review
The drama and conflict of this considered new age noir film all started when Frannie (Meg Ryan) saw a glimpsed of a women giving a blowjob somewhere behind a club in a room and the same women were found dead where her head were severely chopped off hours after. Frannie is English creative-writing teacher and she has and very high ‘sexual’ character. Her half sister (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and the Detective (Mark Ruffalo) who awkwardly falls sexually and into relationship with Frannie right after shes have been attack. The suspects were her ex boyfriend (Kevin Bacon) and her mentally disturbed student (Sharieff Pugh) where his into John Wayne Gacy. As the story progresses, more body were found as more killings were still progressing, she soon finds out that the real killer might be among her close and that could be the detective himself.
Personal Commentary.
This mysterious and dark movie, to a certain extend to me is a complex love story where both character found themselves in a very strange way. The character played by Meg Ryan, Frannie, she is like an individual who always have negative feed back towards her surroundings and she sees it that way also. Everything from life to love, in a way she has given up slowly, but with the presence of the detective, everything what she assumed and thinks changes, in an extreme way has become vulnerable among them.
Interestingly, viewing and study the character Frannie, at the beginning, it shows that her life is dull and bore. As the events submerge, is a like a form of escapism for her from her boring everyday life. That’s where it all started when she first saw the club. From one event to another and finds herself trap and endangered her life as the event progresses.
Jane Campion are known for her works that considered as a women’s film such one of her famous work The Piano (1993). Some film analysis would say that this film is authored and designed from a ‘feminine’ point of view. The controversial argument and subject that is to be reviewed here is the topic of the female gaze.
“Yet it also gained critical acclaim for forging "a masterful thriller" from the never-before-seen perspective of a woman uncovering her own hidden impulses even as she is stalked by a killer unable to control his.” Federico Garcia-Lorca
Source: Production notes In the Cut (2003)

In the Cut and The Piano is not like other films that contains sexual references that portrays the male gaze but instead this time it’s the opposite where female gazing over male figure. Where in the scene from the In The Cut, Frannie fantasizes sexually about the couples that she saw at the back room of the club, she was playing with herself while thinking about it. That particular scene has a great impact and a commentary upon not only the male can gaze upon the female but the female can do so. The scene speaks itself on its own. This first assumption implies that mainstream films are only structured in one way: that is, around a male gaze. To this, the film has developed into a whole new structure of the convention film. If this topic can be see or viewed in a broad way or in depth, consider it, as way of accepting what potentials exists not just for a feminine way of view, but also how it tries to communicate and try to exist. In the Cut evidently has brought up appealing question in this controversial argument. But again, that’s just another assumption towards the movie itself, it does not mean that a movie directed, produced and created by a women must be from a point of view of a women, but it is from us to view as a whole, whether the progressiveness and how the elements applies to the conventions.
Critical Uptake.
Considering nearly all Jane Campion film is a failure, as in didn’t get any profit back, due to her work that considered very artsy. It is not a successful piece of film, the attempt is there but it doesn’t convince to the general public. Even from the ratings received, it is not that promising, not even half of the full marks rating were given to this movie. The only good review given is from the Jane Campion fans or Meg Ryan’s.

What’s makes it Australian?

Well, the director is New Zealand/Australian born and the producer is a famous Australian actress and plus some of the scene were shot in Sydney Australia. But that’s not the central story line in general, it does not even have the landmark that shows it Australia, but the fact that it is produced and directed by Australian is good enough

It has proven as an Australian film.
Prior Work.
Tissues, (1981), [short film] An Exercise in Discipline—Peel, (1982), [short film; also writer and editor] Passionless Moments, (1983), [short film; also cinematographer, director, and writer, producer and miscellaneous crew] Mishaps of Seduction and Conquest, (1984), [short] A Girl's Own Story, (1984), [short; also writer] After Hours, (1984), [short; also writer] Two Friends, (1986), [TV movie] Sweetie, (1989), [also writer, casting director] The Audition, (1989), [actress only] An Angel at My Table, (1990), [TV mini series] An Angel at My Table, (1990), The Piano, (1993), [also co-writer] The Portrait of a Lady, (1996), Holy Smoke, (1999), [also CO-writer] Soft Fruit, (1999), [producer only] In the Cut, (2000), [also writer]
Source; Jane Campion, D.K Holm (1999)

Jane Campion is officially considered a New Zealander but she was regarded as Australian director because she received her education in Sydney and it all started here in Australia. She have work with Nicole Kidman years before In The Cut, she directed a film called Portrait of A Lady (1996) with John Malkovich, but in that particular project, Kidman does not produce it but she acted in that film. The film was a success in terms of visual but it doesn’t convince the critics as all her work till today.
In The Cut falls under Art House and Women Film. As I have mentioned above, the film is too artsy that it doesn’t make a profit and didn’t manage to get a good review from the general critics and the public audience, being a neo-noir as form of art style and as for being a women’s film is a style and considered authorship of Jane Campions work from her previous work to present work, a very feminist point of view were highly commentated in her works.

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