Sleeping Beauty

sleeping beauty

Emily Browning, Rachel Blake
Directed by Julia Leigh
Rating: C

Lucy (Browning) is just trying to pay her bills and go to school so she takes whatever job is offered. From cleaning up tables, to being a lab rat, Lucy finds an ad in the paper for lingerie waitresses. Clara (Blake) is the employer who tells Lucy there is always room for promotion, where the next step would be to become a Sleeping Beauty. Clara sees that Lucy is ready for promotion and invites Lucy to her house for her next job. All Lucy has to do is drink a brew that will put Lucy to sleep for a few hours. What Lucy doesn’t know is what goes on while she is unconscious. It isn’t until she becomes overwhelmed with her life that she wonders what is happening to her while she is sleeping.

My first reaction after watching Sleeping Beauty was that it was one of the most interesting movies I have seen. The film is a bit slow and it feels as if there are too many holes missing. We don’t know how Birdman is in relationship with Lucy or how they met. Neither do we know why her roommate’s boyfriend has such a problem with her. The movie primarily focuses on Lucy’s jobs. We get a glimpse that she is desperate to make ends meet by participating in an experiment and cleaning up tables.

Playing Lucy could not be an easy role. Emily Browning’s portrayal of a young college student struggling to make ends meet is heartbreaking. She gives up her body to be able to pay the bills by letting old men gawk at her in lingerie, and then later having a few hours alone with her while she’s unconscious. Browning does an excellent job making Lucy come to life. We see how she holds it all in but after so much that has gone wrong, she lets it out with bursts of screaming at the end. It gives the audience a glimpse that everything is not all right with Lucy.

Sleeping Beauty may be a difficult film to get through for those who are not interested in the genre. I would definitely recommend it for those who like independent films like Beginners or Hunger. If you are in a courageous mood for something different, then I would think that Sleeping Beauty is worth checking out.

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