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Ryan's In The Cut to open London Film Festival

Story by: Jack Foley

MEG Ryan's sexually explicit pscyhological thriller, In The Cut, is to open The Times bfi London Film Festival.

The movie, which was directed by Oscar-winning director, Jane Campion, finds Ryan as a lonely teacher, who witnesses the prelude to a brutal homicide.

She then embarks on a risky relationship with a seductive cop (Mark Ruffalo) pushes the boundaries of his job to pursue her.

With elements of both modern love and modern crime, the psychological thriller, In The Cut, which is based on the best-selling novel by Susanna Moore, is sure to be one of the year's talking points.

It features a radical makeover for Ryan, who appears naked for the first time on film, and is touted by many as the film which finally marks a parting with the rom-com queen image she has made a name for herself with.

The actress herself did not feel the role was a brave choice, however, stating that she felt safe in the hands of Campion and loved the challenge represented by the character.

"I loved the script and I loved her sensibility, and I think the character is extremely brave," she told a recent London press conference.

"We talked about her often as a warrior, somebody who is a very unlikely person to risk her heart for a guy, and I felt like that's the thing that I find you need a lot of bravery to do.

"She is someone in a kind of remission with herself and so broken-hearted and so not anyone who is likely to be able to connect with someone as extremely and as beautifully as she does."

The Times bfi London Film Festival will take place this year between the earlier dates of October 22 to November 6, 2003.

Presented by the British Film Institute, the festival is Europe’s largest public film event and now in its 47th year.

The first film festival showed only 12 films, while last year's event featured 180 feature films and 122 short films from around the world, and attracted 110,000 people, as well as some notable celebrity attendees such as Sir Michael Caine, John Malkovich and Helena Bonham-Carter.

The full programme for this year’s event is yet to be announced but, as usual, it will offer a wide range of movies, from those with substantial budgets and famous cast members to low-budget gems.

The films will be screened in the National Film Theatre and other venues across London.

The festival aims to encourage emerging talent, demonstrated by the TCM Classic Shorts competition for the best English language short film.

In The Cut, the launch film, is scheduled for a UK release on October 31 and has already played to enthusiastic response at this year's Toronto Film Festival, where it received its eagerly-anticipated debut.

Keep hitting these pages for more news on the London Film Festival.

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