175 of 190 people found the following review helpful
A slow burn, but spellbinding,
This review is from: Sleeping Beauty (Amazon Instant Video)
Emily Browning stars as a detached, reckless young woman who takes a job as a sex worker - although no actual sex is allowed. Instead, she is put to sleep, and clients pay to do things to her while she sleeps. To her, her body is just a thing to be used. But how different is it from being an office drone, making copies all day or busing the same tables every night? Eventually, however, she can't help but be curious about what goes on while she's asleep....
Emily Browning is terrific in this film. She was nice to look at in Sucker Punch and The Uninvited, but here she shows she has real acting chops. She is in every scene, and many of those scenes consist of very long takes, with the camera barely moving. This is also a brave performance many young actresses wouldn't be willing to do - Browning is nude for much of the running time (she is naked so much that after a while you won't even think about it).
This movie will obviously not be for all tastes. It's an art film. The pacing is slow, there's hardly any music and most of the characters are unlikeable. This is the kind of movie that's meant to unsettle and make you think rather than to simply entertain. I would recommend it to cinephiles, but people who find art films "boring" and think The Criterion Collection is overrated may wish to look elsewhere.
I'm glad that more of these smaller arthouse films are being made available to watch online. Most of the time it's impossible to see them in the theater unless you live in a large city or want to drive a long distance, and you can only read about them while waiting however many months it takes for the DVD.
I would be willing to buy this on Blu-ray, but as of this writing a Blu-ray has only been announced for the U.K. I have a feeling this will only be on DVD in the U.S., and if so, it's a shame.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 19, 2011 5:33:13 PM PST
Alexandra G. says:
I share much of your opinion. It is definitely an incredible watch.
Posted on Apr 12, 2012 7:12:40 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 12, 2012 7:17:50 AM PDT
As you state this movie is not for everyone (apparently) but I really loved it!
Emily Browning is definetly showing some great acting skills.
I would have bought on blu ray too - but only available on dvd.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 5:23:59 PM PDT
World Citizen says:
Posted on Aug 21, 2012 6:50:30 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Aug 24, 2012 10:10:46 PM PDT]
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2012 1:15:33 PM PDT
Al x says:
That is an ignorant comment, showing the self-righteous poster did not even understand the synopsis.
Posted on Jun 9, 2013 5:53:42 AM PDT
Johnny Forthy says:
Great art movie. It is true it may not be to everyone's taste. It meant to shock and provoke and it has succeeded in that direction. Good review thank you!
Posted on Jan 6, 2014 3:44:29 AM PST
I think this was an informative and nicely written review for the most part--it definitely gave me a clear idea of the film from the perspective of one who appreciates this genre. But really, how is an office drone any different than a "sex worker"? (Even the term itself is a euphemism to legitimize prostitution as a normal profession.) That kind of philosophizing is academic and doesn't match the stark reality. Allowing strangers to use one's body night after night for sexual gratification is a far cry from pushing papers around an office. I understand your point--that selling oneself for money is a kind of prostitution whatever the service provided...but wouldn't you rather have your daughter make copies for a living than rent her vagina by the hour? Get real. Seriously, come back down to earth and stop saying such ridiculous things.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2014 8:34:02 AM PST
Ralph Jenkins says:
It's interesting that my review of this film continues to generate comments more than two years later. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Of course there is a difference between an office worker and a sex worker (even though she wasn't having sex with her clients). What I meant was there didn't seem to be a huge difference to Lucy. She was sleepwalking through life and didn't care how her body was used. The reality is what finally hits her at the end.
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