Sleeping Beauty Julia Leigh

Sleeping Beauty Julia Leigh
This Australian drama follows a university student named Lucy who moonlights as a prostitute. The twist is that she sleeps coma-like through all of her encounters by taking a drug, and her Johns are forbidden from penetrating her. Instead, they play with Lucy like a doll. Emily Browning holds the screen as Lucy, but Sleeping Beauty moves at a glacial pace and says nothing. Lucy is a young, arrogant character who doesn't change throughout the film. She seeks thrills through coke and blowjobs, and struggles to keep her day job as an office clerk, because she's surly. At other times, she's apathetic. She's hard to like or understand. Furthermore, there's no big crisis in the plot to propel the action forward – Sleeping Beauty just lies there. First-time director Julia Leigh seems to be miming Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut by shooting long, spare takes and adding minimal music to the soundtrack. Both films are erotic dramas that leave the viewer cold instead of drawing them into the fantasy worlds of their protagonists. The only warmth in Sleeping Beauty comes with Lucy's sometimes relationship with her boyfriend, but that subplot is too faintly sketched. I suppose, Leigh is saying that Lucy is a whore whether at the high-class brothel where she serves old, rich men or slaving away at the office as a poorly paid clerk, but the connection isn't made nor is it convincing. This is a bare bones DVD, meaning you get only the movie. (eOne)