Sleeping Beauty

Viewed – 08 June 2012  Blu-ray

Emily Browning was mildly diverting as every teenage boys fantasy femme fatale in Zack Snyder’s underrated Sucker Punch, and on hearing about this provocative but unusual drama, I thought it might be interesting seeing if this pretty young actress had more to her than being a director’s juvenile fantasy…

She stars as Lucy, a young woman who gets by earning money from either being a guinea pig for a medical student (!), waitressing in a bar or working in an office.  Yet on answering a mysterious ad for a ‘hostess’ at an exclusive gentleman’s club, she discovers what is asked of her gets increasingly weird.  Events then take a sinister turn when she is told she will be put to sleep and have no knowledge of what happens to her over night.

I had a hard time with this.  Although Browning must be a very brave (or crazy) actress for some of the scenes she is in, I found her character hard to sympathise with and unlikable, the movie itself painting a very crude and unpleasant image of men and women … leaving me with little to actually find entertaining or engrossing.  I was actually tempted to turn it off when it got a little too ugly for my comfort levels.  This is a movie that on the surface could be painted as a sexy drama, but director Julia Leigh seemed hell-bent on making everything about it totally unsexy.  Even Browning’s frequent nudity was portrayed as something distasteful and ugly, despite her obvious (if a little bland) physical beauty.  What was the director trying to say?  I really didn’t have a clue, and to be honest found the movie borderline offensive.

Seriously not to be confused with the Disney classic of the same name.

Verdict:  1 /5