Sleeping Beauty (2011)
Lucy (Emily Browning) is a young university student possessed by a kind of radical passivity. She lets a flip of a coin decide the outcome of a random sexual encounter and she displays an uncomplaining patience when facing the repetitions of her various menial jobs that fund her studies. One day she answers an ad in the student newspaper and interviews for a job to be a lingerie waitress. But she is secretly being initiated into a world of strange new work; one where she will have to give into absolute submission to her clients by being sedated; becoming a Sleeping Beauty. Eventually this unnerving experience begins to bleed into her daily life and she finally develops the will to break the spell by discovering what happens to her while she sleeps. -- (C) Sundance Selects … More
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Critic Reviews for Sleeping Beauty
Leigh, impressively for a first-time filmmaker, has a distinct and confident approach.
It's a story told in quiet rooms and hushed voices - except for one devastating scream near the end - and it's ultimately a horror story, though one completely free of blood and gore.
Though Julia Leigh's surprisingly dull debut is meant to present the mysteries of a troubled young woman, you're more likely to wonder why its star, Emily Browning, is drawn to such demeaning roles.
[The] movie trades in ambiguity and uncomfortable awkwardness, the often hypnotising trance it emits is a fascinating sight to witness.
Even if the film's final chapter seems far too on point, if not glib, the filmmaker continues to mine complicated psychological terrain with a clear-eyed stringency.
It's so sterile and clinical and emotionless that making a film about the emotionlessness of sex has become more of a cliche than just good ole Cinemax softcore porn.
She spends much of the movie baring her fascinatingly underdeveloped body; her vagina is her temple. There's no graphic sex, but its intimations are anything but sexy.
Juggling moments of pitch black humour and disturbingly tense scenes of abuse, Sleeping Beauty has a queasy, mismatched tone that underscores an uneven, elliptical movie.
Sleeping Beauty is an atmospheric gem which intrigues and delivers in almost every scene
The film's stifled sexual politics seem both non-feminist and critical of a 21st-century pornographic world, where all of us are stuck in our cubicles of detached, narcissistic desire.
I could see it inspiring interesting discussions afterward, but there is the matter of having to sit through it first.
This is a strange film that gets into issues of the meaning of sex, of male fantasy, even of feminism.
Though it seems appropriate to make "Sleeping Beauty" as empty, enervating and dull as its main character, it only serves to underscore the lack of entertainment or insight.
The film deals with the topic of sexual taboos in a transgressive manner that bends your brain. The whole enterprise may even be fraudulent.
Audience Reviews for Sleeping Beauty
An empty, pretentious film that fails for not providing depth into its character, leaving her actions and motivations as a complete mystery from beginning to end - which makes this experience so cold and detached even as a result of the large amount of loose shots.More
This film accomplishes nothing other than unnecessarily disturbing the viewer. If there were any larger messages the film carries, they are lost in its slow--albeit beautifully filmed--sequences that feature cold, wooden acting. The film lost me halfway despite a somewhat compelling plot, and then, not only did it bore, but became a rather disgusting, vile, and ultimately irritating movie. It deserves praise for its cinematography and film editing, which both evoke Sofia Coppola, however it is largely a pointless, raunchy bore. Style can only get you so far.More
A haunting portrait of Lucy, a young university student drawn into a mysterious hidden world of unspoken desires.
Total waste of time. It will more likely turn you into a sleeping beauty instead..The debut feature film by novelist Julia Leigh is anything but artistic, which is a goal that she obviously set out to achieve. It was the lack of emotion throughout the film which ultimately made it all style without any substance. As much as I wanted to like the film, it was guilty of pretentious overload. Some people might still get something out of the movie its images or will read deeper into some of the movie its moments but personally I got very little out of this movie. It was a very empty movie story-wise and an emotionally bland one, that by the end left nothing more than a very redundant impression on me.
Lucy is a university student who is working a number of jobs. She volunteers at a research lab, works at a coffee shop, and as a photocopy cerk in an office. She responds to an advertisement and embarks on an erotic freelance job in which she is required to sleep in bed alongside paying customers.
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