Soon to be in theatres.
This creepy but compelling film recalls only the supine position of the fairy tale princess. “Sleeping Beauty” a darling of the Chicago Film Festival, an enigmatic movie written and directed by Julia Leigh delves into the deepest, deviant male sexual fantasies; a pathetic metaphor for man’s incapacity to relate to or legitimize the emptiness, inadequacies, waning of his potency; his wealth and accomplishments a sad aphrodisiac for the redolent power and virility of vanished youth.
The creative sexual fantasy is granted, with stringent rules, by a pristine, blond, aristocratic “Clara”( eerily, magnificent performance by Rachel Blake). She empathizes with these sad, perverted old men, longing for past bedtime, Zeus- performance feats; gone but not forgotten. Tragic recreations can only be fulfilled by a drugged, comatose, mannequin-doll; unaware of what her perfection grants these lost, degenerate, dissipated, desolate aging lotharios.
“Sleeping Beauty” is “Lucy” (depicted by the luminous, lovely Emily Browning) her exquisite perfection is the only reason to see this “sex for sale” film. She is an Australian university misfit; searching for love, money, relationships; she does not have a discerning or discriminating bone in her body. Yet throughout this troubling scenario she maintains an aura of innocence; her body vilified, her soul remains unscathed; psyche, pure, untarnished. A remarkable and memorable character.
“Sleeping Beauty” is a morose, tiresome study of the raunchy, randy proclivities of ancient, geriatric “gentlemen”, offset by the choices of the women who fulfill their dreams; you yearn for Lucy to wake up, take control of her charms, get her degree, become the viable muse of a John Currin-style artist before the distemper of her existence eliminates her goodness, leaving empty, brittle disillusionment.