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Based on 20 critic reviews provided by
This will divide audiences as much as "The Tree Of Life," but it's a brave and beautiful calling card for both filmmaker and star. Drink it up, sit back and think of a very different Australia.
Leigh does a stellar job of showing how these events seep into the unaware girl's everyday existence - almost all of the film's sequences are photographed in precisely composed, inherently surreal single shots.
Slant Magazine
Julia Leigh's take on the fairy tale is a study in detachment and unspoken dissatisfaction, traits that imbue the proceedings with a barely-contained sexual energy lurking beneath a thin veneer of calm.
I found it gorgeous, opaque and disturbing in roughly equal portions, but it was a riveting experience all the way through.
To be at once earthy and ethereal is an uncommon gift. I noticed it, in Browning, when she starred in "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," as the calmly eccentric Violet Baudelaire. Already, as a teen-ager, she seemed older and wiser than the events unfolding around her, and, likewise, in Sleeping Beauty, she impugns the drooling antics of the elderly.
Sleeping Beauty is one of those self-consciously artsy motion picture that promises more than it delivers.
Village Voice
Sharp and precise as its tableaux might be, though, Sleeping Beauty never burrows into the brain, and its tenuous provocations fizzle out quickly.
Boxoffice Magazine
Leigh certainly has a sense of cinematic style and Emily Browning possesses a fragile beauty that hides a remarkably resilient interior. It's a pity, however, that Jane Campion did not exert a more powerful sway on the result.
While this psychosexual twaddle will no doubt have its admirers, it seems a long shot to attract a significant following or herald the arrival of a director to watch.
The film's frustratingly elliptical style and lack of character insight give it a distinctly first-draft feel.

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