Published on April 5th, 2012 | by dvdpinson0
Sleeping Beauty Availible on Blu-ray/DVD April 10th
You can buy “Sleeping Beauty” 4/10/12 on Blu-ray/DVD
Since nearly 38% of all films released this year will be a new and warped retelling of “Snow White” it is important to communicate that “Sleeping Beauty” is not a fairytale. It has a sleeping girl who is cute enough and there is a princely character but he has a terrible vodka consumption issue. In other words, the similarities are slim.
The film, a first effort from director Julia Leigh, is a small independent Australian production that tries to be an unsettling tale of erotic drama. While the story is unsettling, unnerving in fact, it ultimately fails at any form eroticism. The story is too impenetrable to follow and the characters are too flimsily formed to care about. “Sleeping Beauty” is a confusing piece of art filmmaking that will leave you cold.
I should advise you this with a big, glowing disclaimer: I didn’t get it. I tried very hard to analyze and decipher because there has got to be an underlying meaning to a movie that concerns itself with a desperate young woman who gets paid to dope herself until she is hard asleep so old men can pay money to lick and cuddle her. There has got to be. But I couldn’t crack it. If you do, please leave a comment and let me know. I would truly appreciate it.
What I do know for certain is that “Sleeping Beauty” about a very broken young lady. Her name is Lucy (Emily Browning who, with this and last year’s “Sucker Punch,” is making herself a nice little niche when it comes to being the go-to girl for shallow, poorly written sex-object roles) and when we are introduced it is obvious that she could use some guidance. She spends her days slogging through various jobs she hates and her nights having spontaneous sex for free drinks at the local dive. She visits her alcoholic friend, Birdmann (Ewen Leslie) to drop off bottles of liquor and watch nature shows on television while she has a good cry. A sad life indeed.
When she answers an ad looking for hostesses to work very exclusive dinner parties, Lucy begins her descent into the cracked, David Lynchian world of sexually dysfunctional old men who enjoy having their brandy poured for them by girls in lingerie. Then she goes one step further and whores herself for the whole living doll thing. As she sleeps, the old men do very cracked, David Lynchian things to poor Lucy. No penetration though. Like that matters.
The entire endeavor is soulless and sterile. There is nothing intriguing or interesting going on here and the best compliment is that Miss Browning pretends to be asleep very well. The scenes in the bedroom find her completely nude, exposed and as the sick, sick men grope and molest her, the only feeling I got was pure pity. “Sleeping Beauty” has the distinction of being the first film since “Showgirls” to actually make me sick of nudity by the end credits. Congratulations?
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