In the Dark

Exhibitionists

In the Cut
Produced by Pathe and Red Turtle Productions
Directed by Jane Campion
Screenplay by Jane Campion and Susanna Moore 
Distributed by Screen Gems

Shattered Glass
Directed by Billy Ray
Screenplay by Billy Ray from an article by Buzz Bissinger
Produced by Cruise-Wagner Productions
Distributed by Lions Gate Films

Actors are exhibitionists.  They feel compelled to show us themselves.  So do writers, in their rather more circumspect manner.  For proof, consider two recent films, In the Cut and Shattered Glass.

If we ever needed an illustration as to why the Hays Office was invented in 1934, In the Cut would more than suffice.  It was once thought that someone had to keep the wraps on film performers.  Now that there is no enforcer, nudity reigns at the multiplex—so much so that it has lost all shock value.  Well, not completely, as director Jane Campion demonstrates in her adaptation of Susanna Moore’s novel.  She hired America’s perky sweetheart, Meg Ryan, to wow us by appearing starkers.  Ryan is a 42-year-old mother who made $15 million for appearing clothed in each of her last two films.  Naturally, the question arises: Why is she baring all today?  To show us that she is in good shape?  (She is.) ...

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