SLEEPING BEAUTY - Now On DemandNovember 16, 2011
On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: SLEEPING BEAUTY (IFC Films).
SLEEPING BEAUTY - On Demand
By Amy Slotnick
Beautiful and broke, Lucy (Emily Browning) is a student looking for extra work to make ends meet. Like many before her, she finds the money made in sex work too great to resist. However, this work is atypical, even for a prostitute. The service she works for caters to a wealthy and senior clientele, white haired men who want to fondle her while she is drugged into a deep sleep. Penetration is forbidden, but abuse is not. When Lucy awakes, she remembers nothing, and it seems, at least initially, that she is able to avoid any emotional penetration as well.
The wide shots of Lucy’s slim, naked and limp body being groped by elderly men are soundless and long shots, making the dark urges being enacted seem even more disturbing. Lucy instinctively knows this is unhealthy for her, but her double life continues, while she wonders what is being done while she sleeps. It is the audience who knows more about the horrific details of her life than she does, and it is no fairy tale. We get glimpses of her life outside this job, but none of it is more fulfilling for her. She has a mysterious bond with an alcoholic she calls Birdman, but it is never clear what they mean to each other.
Actress Emily Browning shows real talent and I believe we will be seeing more of her in films to come. A lack of emotional connection to Lucy is due more to the short falls of the screenplay, which fail to develop the aspects we see of her life when she is awake. If you are looking for a disturbing, dark story that explores a woman’s vulnerability, MELANCHOLIA is a more engaging and mature version of this, and also available now on demand.
Amy Slotnick is a contributor to On Demand Weekly. She works as an independent producer and freelance consultant to film financing start-ups. Previously she was a Senior VP of Production at Miramax Films.
Looks for SLEEPING BEAUTY (IFC Films) on your cable provider's Movies On Demand section.
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