Sleeping Beauty is a film that is very divisive. After I saw it in Toronto I spoke with several different people, and some absolutely hated it and others thought it was brilliant. Personally, I still really don’t know what exactly to make of it. I like that it is different. I like that it is provocative. I like that it challenges norms. But I also had many issues with it and found it quite disturbing.
Emily Browning is Lucy a young, pretty, broke student. She’s doing anything she can to make money including photocopying and being a medical guinea pig. She’s pretty desperate when she goes to interview for a job that will take her to the dark world of the paid sex industry. Her first job is to pour wine at a black tie party wearing sexy lingerie that doesn’t really cover anything. She makes more money than she ever has and is able to move out of her share into her own beautiful apartment. Lucy then graduates to becoming a “sleeping beauty” (which I am told really exists.)
She is given a drug to sleep and she lays in a bed and men can do anything they want to her except penetration. She is touched, prodded, licked, burned, everything you can imagine. And she doesn’t remember any of it.
The film raises many interesting questions especially about the commodification of young women and the choices they have to make decent money. This film is not for the faint hearted. Be ready to be challenged.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.