Lucy is a university student who is working a number of jobs. She volunteers at a research lab, works at a coffee shop, and as a photocopy clerk in an office. She responds to an advertisement and embarks on an erotic freelance job in which she is required to sleep in bed alongside paying customers. Written by
I left the theater after seeing Sleeping Beauty shaking my head. Both my wife and I felt more than a little cheated. It really takes a special kind of bad to make a beautiful girl -- prostrated naked all over the screen for the better part of the movie -- boring and unappealing. And yet, this is precisely what we got from it. Why? The problem seems to be that much of the tension and drama hinges on empathizing with Emily Browning's character, a girl shallow and adrift, yet simultaneously cold to the world. Financial predicaments and dissatisfaction with life make her teen angst blossom into ugliness. The expression "bored people are boring" comes to mind.
I do not wish to recount plot details beyond what is outlined in the summary, in case you decide to see the film for yourself. However, tonight my wife discovered an earlier film from Germany, which shocked us, having seen Sleeping Beauty so recently. The film is called "House of the Sleeping Beauties", directed by Vadim Glowna in 2006, based on Yasunari Kawabata's much older novel. What's peculiar is that House of the Sleeping Beauties is so painfully close to Sleeping Beauty, it's not funny. Virtually every critical plot point is present in both films. And yet, House of the Sleeping Beauties is made from a completely different perspective and strikes a decidedly different tone. It's more nuanced, more three-dimensional, more mysterious. It's... just better. The night we saw Sleeping Beauty, my wife and I agreed that despite all the drawbacks, the premise held something and the film could have been good. House of the Sleeping Beauties is that better film.
I sincerely hope that Julia Leigh meant to reference the earlier German work and create an interplay between them. It's an interesting idea. Though, I'm a bit skeptical, seeing as there appears no mention of the other it anywhere in the credits, nor in marketing or writing around Sleeping Beauty itself.
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