Thursday, December 15, 2011

12-09-11: For in that sleep of death what dreams may come.

SLEEPING BEAUTY (2011) (Not Rated) **1/2 104 mins. D: Julia Leigh. Emily Browning, Rachael Blake, Ewen Leslie, Eden Falk.

A university student holding multiple jobs to get by answers an ad in the paper for a job that starts out as a niche modeling type position but ultimately introduces her to an even more specialized service for particular clients.

I went in knowing very little about this film. I had read the synopsis but had not seen the trailer. In lesser hands this could have easily devolved into an exploitative mess. However, it is a mixed bag that unfortunately did not resonate when it reached its conclusion.

In a nutshell, the film is about a young woman who becomes an escort for a very particular set of clients. Elderly men who want a beautiful, naked woman lying next to them in their bed. The woman is in a drug-induced sleep and is oblivious to what transpires when she is with a client. Clients are cautioned by the Madam that there is to be no penetration and try not to leave any marks. Leigh teases the viewer by only giving a taste of what occurs. You may have an idea of what goes on but you have no idea.

While holding her new job, Lucy is struggling with her relationships, college and domestic life. It's unfortunate that I can't help but compare this aspect of the story to "Shame" which handled the impact that that lifestyle has on one's life and relationships. I found myself a bit ambivalent towards Lucy.

This had the potential of being a potent and engaging character piece. Instead it just left me cold and uninterested.

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