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SLEEPING BEAUTY, which premiered in competition at this years’ Cannes Film Festival, is a fascinating depiction of a young woman’s reckless decent into a shocking world of erotic desires. 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. With a fearless performance by Browning, Leigh creates a bold cinematic vision; one where Lucy, both in her clandestine sexual adventures and in her mundane daily existence, lives with the same unflinching and brutal honesty.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 90
- Fresh: 44
- Rotten: 46
- Average Rating: 5.2/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: There is a measure of soft-core titillation in this, for sure, but Ms. Leigh observes Lucy's body and what happens to it with a dreamy detachment that is seductive and unnerving in equal measure.
Rotten: [An] arty exploitation pic passed off as a feminist parable...
Rotten: Sharp and precise as its tableaux might be ... Sleeping Beauty never burrows into the brain, and its tenuous provocations fizzle out quickly.
Fresh: The result can feel untouchable and impenetrable, but it also serves to make its visceral moments that much more affecting. This Sleeping Beauty is no fairy tale; it's stark, dispassionate and noticeably short on happily ever afters.
OH MY GOD, DO I WANT MY MONEY BACK. This has got to be one of the most boring movies I have seen in years. Sleeping Beauty was a perfect title, not for the movie, but for the state in which it will place its audience.
If you know your Kubrick, Breillat, Haneke, etc…, you'll most likely enjoy it a great deal. If you ask, who are these people you just mentioned… it might not be for you.
amazing that a woman wrote and directed this extremely divisive film - beautifully shot - emily browning is an amazingly fearless actress - totally creepy, disturbing premise yet executed magnificently - worth a look
- Sleeping Beauty (Original Soundtrack)
- Various Artists
- Sleeping Beauty (Music from the Original Motion Picture)
- Various Artists