‘In The Cut’, ‘Matchstick Men’, ‘Code 46’ to debut at TIFF

by W. Andrew Powell
TIFF 2003
TIFF 2003

With just a month to go before the fun begins, more news is slowly slipping out about this this September’s 28th Toronto International Film Festival.

Announced yesterday were the Gala Presentations of Jane Campion‘s In The Cut, Ridley Scott‘s Matchstick Men, and Michael Winterbottom‘s Code 46.

Academy Award winner Jane Campion’s In The Cut will receive its world premiere at the 28th Toronto International Film Festival. The story is based on Susanna Moore’s bestselling novel of the same name and stars Meg Ryan, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Nick Damici, and Kevin Bacon.

The psychological thriller combines elements of modern love and modern crime while exploring the darker side of passion when a lonely New York woman becomes involved with a tough homicide detective who is investigating a series of murders in her neighbourhood.

Ridley Scott’s Matchstick Men will make its North American premiere at the festival and is also based on a novel – Eric Garcia’s novel of the same name.

The film stars Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, Alison Lohman, and Bruce McGill. The fast-paced and funny, Matchstick Men is a clever and imaginative look at how the life of a small-time con man is upset by the unexpected arrival of his teenage daughter.

And, director Michael Winterbottom’s Code 46 will make its North American premiere at the festival and stars Tim Robbins and Samantha Morton, in a love story that travels into an eerily possible near-future where cities are heavily controlled and only accessible through checkpoints.

Further details about the films:

In The Cut takes a close look at the life of Frannie (Ryan), a lonely English professor living in New York.

One night, while meeting a student in a local bar, she walks in on an intimate moment between a man and a woman, and is paralyzed by the passion before her. Though she does not see the man’s face, she cannot forget the tattoo on his wrist or the heat of his stare. A terrifying murder takes place near her apartment, and Frannie becomes involved with the alluring detective (Ruffalo) investigating the case.

Despite the encouragement of her sister Pauline (Jason Leigh), she has doubts about him, and is increasingly frightened by the intensity of her attractions, not to mention the murder investigations that surround their relationship. After she is attacked by a masked assailant, she becomes suspicious of everyone, including her disquieting ex-boyfriend (Bacon), and one of her students who is under police suspicion.

Written and directed by Jane Campion, In The Cut stars Meg Ryan, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Nick Damici, and Kevin Bacon. Also written by Susanna Moore, the film is produced by Laurie Parker, and Nicole Kidman. With executive producer Effie T. Brown, and François Ivernel, In The Cut is a Pathé International production, which will be distributed in North America by Screen Gems, a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.

Matchstick Men follows the lives of Roy (Cage), a veteran of the grift, and his ambitious protégé, Frank (Rockwell). Small scams net the pair a few hundred here, a few thousand there, and eventually results in a lucrative partnership. Roy’s private life, however, is not as successful. An obsessive-compulsive agoraphobe with no personal relationships to call his own, Roy is barely hanging on to his wits. He’s forced to seek the help of a psychoanalyst and his therapy begets more than he bargained for: the revelation that he has a teenage daughter – a child whose existence he suspected but never dared confirm.

Now 14-year-old Angela (Lohman) wants to meet the father she never knew. At first, Angela’s appearance disrupts her neurotic father’s carefully ordered routine. Soon, however, Roy develops paternal feelings for Angela and she develops a fascination with his questionable career that jeopardizes not only his peace of mind but his whole way of life.

Directed and produced by Ridley Scott, Matchstick Men stars Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, Alison Lohman, and Bruce McGill. The film’s screenplay is written by Nicholas Griffin & Ted Griffin. An ImageMovers/Scott Free Production, in association with Rickshaw Productions and LivePlanet, Matchstick Men is also produced by Jack Rapke, Steve Starkey, Sean Bailey and Ted Griffin. Matchstick Men is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Code 46 is set in a futuristic Shanghai. The restrictions in place make it possible for people to travel to other cities only if they have the necessary “papelles”, a special travel insurance that combines a passport with a visa. Outside of the cities, the desert has taken over. Shanty towns have become jammed with non-citizens – people without papelles whose lives are severely restricted as they are unable to travel outside of their own zones.

William (Robbins) is an insurance investigator sent to Shanghai to solve a case of fraudulent papelles. He meets Maria (Morton), and although he knows she is guilty of committing the forgery, he cannot help falling completely in love with her. He knows that it is his duty to hand Maria over to the authorities, but he is unable to turn her in. Instead, he hides her crime and they have a passionate affair, one that can only last as long as his papelles: 24 hours.

When William returns home, the memory of Maria lingers. He tries to see her, but is refused the necessary travel papers. Out of desperation, he uses one of the fake papelles from his investigation so that he may see her, but when he tracks her down, he is left with the unwelcome discovery that she has been accused of a Code 46 violation.

Directed by Michael Winterbottom, Code 46 stars Tim Robbins, and Samantha Morton. Written by Frank Cottrell Boyce, the film is produced by Andrew Eaton. In association with the UK Film Council’s Premiere Fund and BBC Films, Code 46 is a Revolution Films Production, distributed worldwide by United Artists. The 28th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 4-13, 2003 – find out more on the festival over at www.bell.ca/filmfest.

Stay tuned for more feature coverage from The GATE.

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