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Ryan dazzles in black as In The Cut opens festival

Story by: Jack Foley

ACTRESS Meg Ryan dazzled in black, as she flew into London to open the 47th Times BFI London Film Festival with her provocative new movie, In The Cut.

Ryan arrived at the Odeon, Leicester Square, on Wednesday night (October 22) to a frenzied reception from masses of fans. She was joined by co-star, Mark Ruffalo, and director, Jane Campion.

And the jovial actress did not disappoint her fans, looking stunning in a delicate, floor-length black gown, by Azzedine Alaia, and allowing them plenty of time to catch a glimpse of her.

Her latest movie, In The Cut, is a bold choice to open the London Film Festival, given that it contains strong sex scenes and some fairly bloody murder scenes.

But it is also being seen as a strong role for a woman to play and has been hailed by critics in America as Ryan's finest role to date.

The 41-year-old star is more usually associated with romantic comedies, such as When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail, than gritty urban thrillers, but, for her latest, she is required to shed her clothes - and her image.

But, speaking at a recent London press conference, she maintained that the role didn't mark any sort of bravery on her part, and insisted that how people perceive her has never had any bearing on her career.

"I loved the script and I loved her sensibility, and I think the character is extremely brave," she commented. "We described her as a warrior."

The annual London Film Festival will see more than 30 premieres and gala screenings in the capital's cinemas over the next fortnight, and is expected to draw more than 100,000 visitors.

Other notable celebrities who are confirmed to attend include Sir Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman, as well as Gwyneth Paltrow, whose latest movie, Sylvia, has been chosen to close the event.

Kidman has two forthcoming releases at the festival - Dogville, directed by Lars von Trier, and The Human Stain, alongside Sir Anthony.

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