In the Cut
- compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2003 1 Jan
Director Jane Campion (
Her new film
But the story fails to interest most religious press critics. In fact, the film has left some of them furious.
David DiCerto (CNS) calls it "an excruciatingly dreadful erotic thriller. You know you are in trouble when you are watching a serial-killer movie and midway through the film you find yourself hoping that the female lead is the psycho's next victim. Thanks to a torpid, unremittingly cheerless script … Campion's urban-noir tale suffocates under the weight of its own self-importance, quickly plummeting into a soporific fog of pretension and voyeuristic vulgarity."
Movieguide calls it "a pretentious post-feminist flick. The ads and reviews describe
Michael Medved (Crosswalk) argues, "The frustrating failure of this feeble film … proves that Ms. Campion never deserved the acclaim she received for her previous work.
Michael Leary (Matthews House Project) analyzes the film more closely. He concedes that "Ryan doesn't seem up to the emotional challenge. Ultimately the film falls flat in her hands." But he adds that the rest of the cast members "all fit perfectly into Campion's evocative atmosphere." He is also a bit put off by Campion's elaborate visual style: "At times this complexity is overwhelming and threatens to overtake the story itself." But he takes the film seriously, exploring its themes and questions, and examining its place in Campion's repertoire.
Mainstream critics, both men and women, are divided over the film, but most—including Lawrence Toppman (Charlotte Observer)—are unimpressed. A few resist the onslaught of criticism and step up to defend it, including Manohla Dargis (Los Angeles Times) who calls it "astonishingly beautiful … the most maddening and imperfect great movie of the year." And Mick LaSalle (San Francisco Chronicle) insists that it's "unquestionably the most ambitious and important film to come along in months. In time …