You just read Sleeping Beauty and thought of a princess. That’s nice. Except this is no fairytale. Julia Leigh, an Australian well-established novelist, wants to lay this provocative Sleeping Beauty in a XXI century bed in her debut as a screenwriter and director. Now take this as a warning: she may ruin your childhood memories related to Disney’s sleeping blonde. Be prepared for a striking psychosexual artsy drama presented by Jane Campion (The Piano) and starring Emily Browning (Sucker Punch) – who may as well consider Leigh as her career’s fairy godmother if this film delivers what it promises.
Browning plays Lucy, a disenchanted university student who drifts into a strange surreal world of escort business specializing in bizarre and very discreet fetishes… In the ‘Sleeping Beauty Chamber’ old men seek an erotic experience that requires Lucy’s absolute submission – meaning she’ll have to knock herself out with drugs prior to each encounter with clients. When she wakes up the next morning, she’ll have no memory of the event. “It will be as if the hours never existed.” It sounds nightmarish, alright. But the plot gets even more disturbing when young Lucy becomes obsessed with knowing what clients do with her while she’s unconscious.
The beguiling trailer promises a film that skillfully combines an art house sensibility with a black erotic thriller genre and it offers some ‘Kubrick meets Sofia Coppola’ imagery. Also, it features the beautiful cinematography of Geoffrey Simpson – yes, the kind of beautiful that makes film lovers light up like a christmas tree.
Are you getting curiouser and curiouser? Curiosity is definitely the lust of the mind. Sleeping Beauty is Palme d’Or nominated and it just might be the hit of this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Either way, can hardly wait.