Sleeping Beauty Review

Words by Naomi Jeffreys

Silence. Sex. Rituals.

Those are the words which sum up this Australian erotic film, written and directed by Julia Leigh and is her directorial debut. The film stars Emily Browning as a young university student who perform as a special type of erotic service.

The film could be considered an independent film, we follow Lucy for almost the entirety of the film, we see her day to day life and there are only two instances of non-diegetic music in the film. Leigh certainly favours diegetic, real noises. It heightens the film, and the silence could echo the lonliness which the character feels, but never reflects.

It is extraordinary how drawn in to the film one becomes, Lucy is an incredibly complex character and the world which she inhabits is weird, claustrophobic, uncomfortable world. At times she is uncomfortable, but, maybe because of her ‘carefree’ life she will do anything to survive or live.

Browning excels as Lucy, perhaps best known for her role in Lemony Snicket’s Unfortunate Events as Violet Baudelaire certainly has guts to play this role, with many scenes in the nude and often uncomfortable scenes for all actors involved Browning certainly carries the film and creates a complex character.

The cinematography of the film is excellent, with numerous pans, and slow dissolves Leigh certainly puts a creative stamp on the film. What is more, the colour pallette for is bright, with pastel colours, bright whites and then stark blacks are used to create an underworld within the real world.

If you like a good independent film, I recommend you watch this.