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Sleeping Beauty

2011

NR CC

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.

Starring:
Bridgette Barrett, Rachael Blake
Runtime:
1 hour, 41 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director Julia Leigh
Starring Bridgette Barrett, Rachael Blake
Supporting actors Hannah Bella Bowden, Emily Browning, Alan Cardy, Peter Carroll, Les Chantery, Benita Collings, Michael Dorman, Eden Falk, Anni Finsterer, Mirrah Foulkes, James Fraser, Robin Goldsworthy, Vernon Hayman, Chris Haywood, Paul W. He, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Amit Kelkar, Sarah Kinsella
Studio IFC Films
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ralph Jenkins on November 4, 2011
Format: Amazon 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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Format: DVD
On paper, Sleeping Beauty is a great idea. If the film is horrible, you have actress Emily Browning walking around naked for a good majority of the film. How can you lose right? Well, Julia Leigh's directorial debut fails to even be erotic. There's nothing particular titillating about it, so the sexual content doesn't even compensate for how unengaging the film is. In 2008, the script made the 2008 Black List of the best unproduced screenplays going around Hollywood. I'm starting to doubt the validity of the Black List, considering the last film I read about making this list was Cop Out. Sleeping Beauty premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and received a lukewarm reception in its limited release. The next time you hear someone negatively describe a film as "pretentious art house fare," you can look to this film to get a better understanding of what they mean.

Emily Browning plays Lucy, a university student with a number of odd jobs. There's little insight into her personality, although we see her at a club agreeing to have sex with a man as the result of a coin toss. Lucy responds to an ad in the student newspaper and meets Clara (Rachael Blake), who tells her the job is freelance silver service (basically a waitress) where she'll be clad only in lingerie (others are nearly naked) catering to upper-class, mostly older men. Remember the orgy in Eyes Wide Shut? It's easy to imagine those same people in attendance being served here. It's similarly elite and mysterious. As an employee, Lucy is called Sara and is told on the first day to match her lipstick to the color of her labia. Clara soon requests Lucy for a different type of job.
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Format: Amazon Video
**SPOILERS**

I was looking forward to seeing this movie because I really like Emily Browning. The movie started out pretty interesting but then turned bizarre. A young college student obviously in need of money has two jobs and seems to do a bit of prostituting herself at night at restaurants/bars on the side. She takes a job as a "freelance" private entertainer. Her first night after entertaining a party with other girls, she comes home and lights an Australian 100 dollar bill on fire? I did not get it in a practical sense considering she needed the money. What made it confusing to me is that her first night didn't seem to go so bad. There was no sex involved. She wore lingerie that covered up more of her than the other girl's outfits and all she did was pour drinks for the most part.

Another odd scene, at her office job, she was laying down( not sleeping) on the floor in the middle of the copy room and her boss walked in on her. No explanation, nothing and her boss said nothing to her.

She started to go to the home of her boss of the freelance job where she was given a drink to knock her out. She would sleep naked in bed while men came in to do bizarre things to her with one rule: no penetration. Then a second rule: no leaving marks( after an incident).

She was curious as to what went on and so decided to privately record one evening. I won't give it away but the movie ended showing what happened.

It wasn't a bad film, I thought it was definitely artsy but it left me a bit baffled at times.
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