A homicidal maniac is on the loose, an attractive, young woman lives on the murderer’s beat, and a hard-boiled cop is assigned to solve the case. Sound familiar? For anyone who has seen a thriller, it is. The genre is both exciting and pervasive – and it is almost entirely the preserve of male directors. But if you think its kinetic energy seems to demand a masculine approach, think again, because the brilliant Jane Campion has made a thriller that defies expectations.
IN THE CUT turns the form inside out, placing a woman at the centre of its narrative and letting us see the world through her eyes. The film is also a sizzling, sensual study of a love affair between two people who, although driven together by fate, wonder if they should trust each other.
Meg Ryan is rare and dazzling as the ironic, captivating Frannie, a teacher living in a Babylonian New York City. When Detective Malloy (Mark Ruffalo) comes to her door to tell her part of a corpse has been found nearby, she has no information to give him but wants to hear the grisly details. As the investigation brings her together with the hard-edged, unpredictable Malloy, the attraction that develops is steamy, haunting and potentially perverse. (Toronto International Film Festival).
Jane Campion grew up in Wellington, New Zealand, studied anthropology at Victoria University and moved to Australia to study at the Sydney College of the Arts and filmmaking at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. Her PEEL (1986) won the Palme d’Or for short film at the Festival de Cannes. She won a second Palme d’Or for her feature film THE PIANO (1993), being the first woman to attain this honour; she also won an Academy Award for best original screenplay for the same film. Her other films include the short PASSIONLESS MOMENTS (1983) and the features SWEETIE (1989), AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE (1990), THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY (1996) and HOLY SMOKE (1999).