Sunday, September 9, 2012

3 Short Paragraphs: Sleeping Beauty

2011, Julia Leigh -- download

I used to watch a higher calibre of movie, on a regular basis.  I was a veritable film snob but for the simultaneous love with what Hollywood gave us, in particular, the blockbuster.  But really, it was symptomatic of accessibility and time. As places and situations changed, so did I.  So, to be quite honest, I am quite surprised when I see what is generally considered a good movie.  Sorry, let me clarify that --- I rarely find myself seeing movies that are critically acclaimed, sober dramas where script, acting and cinematography are a key design.  The other side of the coin with this is that I also used to see quite a lot of foreign movies and art films, purely because I believed they were supposed to be good.  They often were not.

Sleeping Beauty is a small arthouse flick that I saw the trailer for on IMDB.  I was actually more drawn to the alluring poster, with a nearly nude Emily Browning looking over her shoulder.  I had last seen her in a pseudo-alluring role in Sucker Punch, the movie which I believe inaugurated the raison d'etre of this blog. In this movie, Browning is a young woman drawn into the sex trade world, but one of high class and high money.  Will it be any better than corner work?  Can it be glamorous? A movie like this is going to definitely say no, especially when written and directed by a woman.  Is that a challenging statement?  I am not sure. That we could actually have little sympathy for her, as presented, is more challenging.

Lucy doesn't seem to have a very happy life.  Diner job, office job, dependant mom, suicidally depressed friend and lots of meaningless sex, sometimes with the hint of being paid.  Each is more empty than the last.  Each scene is presented in almost single shot, static camera work done in muted almost, vintage color. Very art.  When we are led to her sex trade life, where she is chemically put to sleep to have old rich men... partake of her. Not really sexually. But it is money and it is easy for her. Bad choices seem very easy for her. What is the writer/director saying?  I guess I am not that viewer anymore who reads what the creator is giving me for all I saw was a sad movie about a sad girl, shot somewhat lovingly but without much depth.