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It will more likely turn you into a sleeping beauty instead.
It's not like I'm not capable of appreciating a good artistic or original movie, on the contrary really but this movie is offering far too little to make it stand out on any level.
Perhaps it's true that I'm simply getting fed up with these sort of movies, since I have seen far too many of them already. It's the sort of movie that's all too well aware of its style and realizes very well its being part of the more artistic, independent movie genre. It's therefore being just like any other movie out of the genre basically, without offering anything new or provoking.
It has a very deliberate and well thought out and planned, style of film-making to it. It doesn't feel spontaneous in any way. The movie very rarely cuts away. When there is a cut in this movie, it means that the scene is over and another one, set at another place will start. The camera does move at times but lots of times the movie only consists purely out of static shots, with characters sitting or standing in the foreground. It's all too forced and obvious and if I want a front-view of actors, with a few props and sets, I'll go and watch a stage-play. The possibilities with movies are now days pretty much endless, yet the movie is doing absolutely nothing with it. It's minimalistic and slow, up to a point that the movie actually starts to become a bit of a drag. It manages to make 104 minutes seem like a very long time!
So is the movie pretentious? It's deliberately trying to be an artistic one, with its images and storytelling but I wouldn't go as far as saying it's being a pretentious one, since this is director's Julia Leigh first movie and I do believe all of her intentions with it were very honest. Still she really needs to work on developing a style of her own, that really suits her and the stories she is trying to tell with her movies. There now still is nothing that makes her style unique from anything else, or distinctive in any way. It also wouldn't had harmed the movie if she got a more experienced screenplay writer to come in and help to write the story with her. I actually do feel and believe that the story worked well on paper but on the silver screen it really falls flat.
It all really could had still worked out well if the movie indeed had an intriguing story or main character in it. But the movie tries to tell its story more so with its images, rather than featuring a real good main plot line or emotions in it. It does come across a bit as some lazy film-making; 'Don't worry about the script or actors, just place a camera in a room and let the emptiness and remoteness of the scene tell the whole story'. Sorry, I just really wasn't falling for that.
It does make Emily Browning's role also a bit of an ungrateful one. Ever since she had been appearing in movies and series as a child, it was apparent that she would one day not only grow into becoming a beautiful woman but also a great star and actress. However after seeing her in this movie it also becomes apparent that she isn't quite ready for it to play a lead role and carry a movie almost entirely on her own. But all of the blame can't fall entirely on her in this case, since it probably was director Julia Leigh that told her to play her character as a very distant and emotionally bland one. Seriously, she is hardly ever showing any emotions on her face. You can't really tell if she is ever happy or sad and as a viewer it makes you feel very detached from her. This is also because she is doing some very unusual and unlikely things in this movie. It never becomes really apparent why she does them and why she is the way that she is. The movie is not really offering you an exploration into a young woman's mind and her journey in life, on her way of becoming a true woman. Just like many of its scene's, the movie feels mostly as a very empty and distant one.
And what was with here wearing the same type of clothes throughout the entire movie? She is either wearing a skirt or a dress, with some high boots, or she is either half- or completely naked. Nothing wrong with showing some skin but Emily Browning's body looks like a 13-year old, even while she was 23 at the time. The clothes she was wearing really didn't seemed to suit her body type and it actually worked quite distracting for me. It made me want to send her some money, so she could buy some pants and normal shoes.
Some people might still get something out of the movie its images or will read deeper into some of the movie its moments but personally I got very little out of this movie. It was a very empty movie story-wise and an emotionally bland one, that by the end left nothing more than a very redundant impression on me.
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