La belle endormie (The Sleeping Beauty) (2011)
As with most "fairytales", "The Sleeping Beauty" begins with "Once Upon A Time" but anyone familiar with a Catherine Breillat film knows that a "happy ever after" is no guarantee. In a castle in a far away land in a far away time, a baby girl is born. The child's name is Anastasia. The fairy Carabosse places a curse upon the child- saying at sixteen the girl will prick her hand and die. Three younger and somewhat scatterbrained fairies alters the curse so that instead of dying, Anastasia will sleep for 100 years. For a century Anastasia will live in the world of dreams. -- (C) Strand Releasing … More
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Critic Reviews for La belle endormie (The Sleeping Beauty)
Enchanting, a bedtime story told by a wickedly literate aunt with a gleam in her eye.
Young Besna´nou is so lovely that her solemn independence is a wonder to behold, and her early adventures retain an eerie and compelling charm.
Heartwarming entertainment, gorgeously rendered by cinematographer Denis Lenoir.
The pleasures of Ms. Breillat's work are its commitment and seriousness and its raw, sometimes very funny perversity: she's lets everything hang out, without apologies.
The results are impressionistic and thought-provoking, but too intellectualized to penetrate deeply.
The ways in which Breillat makes the fantastical literal and the literal abstract are admirable, but The Sleeping Beauty too often devolves into tell-not-show cinema.
[F]eminist lessons are more charmingly symbolic than didactic . . .in striking images of what [she] was dreaming [at] the heart of the film [to] make her fantasy quite real.
[Breillat is] having fun with the genre and story as her template to toy with, then uses that foundation to engage with human sexuality as a subject.
It's a lovely, and loving, survey of many of the girlhood-to-adulthood motifs Breillat has been exploring throughout her career. It's awake, alive and ageless at the same time.
Instead of the romantic claptrap of other adaptations, this is a road movie, and its star is a girl.
A thinking woman's fairy tale. Breillat explores sexual awakening, and the meaning of class and gender, revising the classic story while keeping its beauty and charm.
Judging from The Sleeping Beauty, and the previous Bluebeard, the provocations stop with the choice of the material, as the tone and style of these films are jarringly well-behaved.
Breillat's enchanting desconstrcution of the classic fable suggests how rich the source material is and why it has continued to provoke generations of filmmakers.
...plays like a Narnia tale in which the underlying lesson is not on the laws of Christianity but sexual awakening.
Audience Reviews for La belle endormie (The Sleeping Beauty)
At last! A Catherine Breillat film that I really liked. A fairy tale, but unlike any tale you've seen, Ms Breillat seems to have melded the Sleeping Beauty story with a bit of Alice in Wonderland and made it something fresh. Condemned to sleep for a hundred years, beginning at age 6, Anastaia (Carla Besna´nou) wanders about a phantasmagorical landscape, meeting various eccentric characters who befriend her and send her on her way as she searches for her lost brother. She awakens, at age sixteen (don't ask, it's part of the curse) and discovers true love. Lots of bizarre images and plenty of symbolism, although I'm sure I didn't catch much of it, and an interesting take on the story made this an interesting interpretation.More
In "The Sleeping Beauty," the birth of the Princess Anastasia(Carla Besnainou) would have been a happy occasion if not for the curse placed on her for her to die when she turns 16. That would not have happened if a trio of faeries(Dounia Sichov, Leslie Lipkins & Camille Chalons) had been on duty, instead of frolicing in a nearby pond. They try to make it up to her by casting a spell that will allow her to fall into an enchanted sleep from the age of 6 to 16 while living a dream life. It is there that she successfully evades an ogre(Dominique Hulin) to live with Peter(Kerian Mayan) and his mother(Anne-Lise Kedves) in the woods.
"The Sleeping Beauty" is an intriguing reimagining of the venerable fairy tale. A lot of that is due to the unique sensibility of director Catherine Breillat who approaches the material from all directions, even invoking the spirit of the real Grand Duchess Anastasia who died in 1918 at the age of 17. To Breillat, girls operate in their own rarefeid worlds, separate from the dangers of the real world with little concept of what the future will bring nor who they will eventually become as they play in what feels like an eternal present.
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