Friday, July 13, 2012

Penny Thoughts ‘12—Sleeping Beauty (2011) **

NR, 101 min.
Director/Writer: Julia Leigh
Starring: Emily Browning, Rachel Blake, Ewan Leslie, Peter Carroll

I know Snow White has been getting the live action treatment lately, but this is not a remake of Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty”. If you go into this expecting a live action princess story, you will be severely shocked.

This “Sleeping Beauty” is an Australian film about a young woman who finds work in the “escort” industry. In her particular field, she is drugged while her companion is allowed to do anything he wants to her, except intercourse. She is unconscious for the entire encounter. Yes, this sounds as if it falls into the realm of adult erotic cinema, and at times it feels very similar to some of the stranger erotic fare, but it falls more on the side of psychological drama than eroticism. It’s similar to Stanley Kubrick’s final film “Eyes Wide Shut” in that way. There is no actual sex, but it plods along looking for its plot in the same way some erotic cinema does.

Emily Browning is turning out to be an interesting actress. She started her acting career at the age of ten and landed her first major role as Violet in “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events”. She quickly moved into more adult fare with leading roles in the movies “The Uninvited” and “Sucker Punch”. She seems to go for roles in films with strong female protagonists. I haven’t liked any of the movies I’ve seen her in, but I always like her. She makes interesting choices as an actress for her characters and her career.

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