Sleeping Beauty

December 2, 2011 0 By Fans
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Still of Rachael Blake and Emily Browning in Sleeping BeautyStill of Julia Leigh in Sleeping BeautyStill of Rachael Blake and Emily Browning in Sleeping BeautyStill of Rachael Blake in Sleeping BeautyStill of Emily Browning in Sleeping BeautyStill of Emily Browning in Sleeping Beauty


A haunting portrait of Lucy, a young university student drawn into a mysterious hidden world of unspoken desires.

Release Year: 2011

Rating: 5.4/10 (7,094 voted)

Critic's Score: 57/100

Julia Leigh

Stars: Emily Browning, Rachael Blake, Ewen Leslie

A haunting portrait of Lucy, a young university student drawn into a mysterious hidden world of unspoken desires.


Emily Browning


Rachael Blake


Ewen Leslie


Peter Carroll

Man 1

Chris Haywood

Man 2

Hugh Keays-Byrne

Man 3

Bridgette Barrett

Dinner Waitress

Hannah Bella Bowden

Dinner Waitress

Les Chantery


Benita Collings

Dinner Guest

Michael Dorman


Eden Falk


Anni Finsterer

Train Riding Hairdresser

Mirrah Foulkes


James Fraser

Guy with Ticket


Official Website:
Official Facebook |
Official site |

Release Date: 2 December 2011

Filming Locations: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Box Office Details

Budget: AUD 3,000,000


Opening Weekend: AUD 70,204
(26 June 2011)
(12 Screens)

Gross: $293,081

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


Before filming, Emily Browning was urged by director Julia Leigh to watch Lars von Trier's
Antichrist and study Charlotte Gainsbourg's performance.


Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers):
When Lucy is telling her mom her credit card number she only says twelve digits. Visa cards have thirteen or sixteen.

User Review

Better than I'd been led to believe.

Rating: 8/10

OK, after reading review after review that deliberately refused to
engage with the content that was clearly on the screen, I decided to
respond to this one:

"However the viewer is distracted by wondering how she manages to fit
in her tertiary maths course, a day time job collating documents that
you'd expect the machine in the same room to do, second job at the
café, visiting a dried out case who has muesli and gin for breakfast,
getting picked up in bars and hiring on as a fetish object."

The muesli and gin (vodka?) episode comes when she visits a friend who
is an addict/alcoholic, and she obviously is displaying that the only
way to get some food into him is to mix it with alcohol. (Also apparent
that she's taking the p-ss.) The other scenes are to set up the idea
that none of the things she is engaged with in her life –work, school,
family –really matter much to her, and that she's pretty much
direction less. Also that she needs to work hard to get by, which
should be obvious enough. It establishes enough drudgery to explain why
she might be attracted to the danger and risk-taking she embarks on.

"Lets not start in on why she burns the hundred dollar note in
sustained shot, like the opening with white coat shoving a tube down
her throat."

The first is to show her reaction to having some money –as someone who
had to struggle for it for so long, she enjoys the sheer pleasure of
acting out the idea of having "money to burn". The lab tests,
meanwhile, are to show you how desperate she is to pick up some cash
through odd jobs — it also sets up the irony of her being "penetrated"
in her straight job, while not being penetrated in her sleeping call
girl one.

"As for the performers, our sympathy for the actors' humiliation
overrides any criticism of their performances."

Browning did an excellent job, and certainly better than anyone had a
right to expect after "Sucker Punch". I hear over and over about what a
"blank" she was; I did not find that to be the case at all: nearly
every scene plays out on her face and reactions, and I was constantly
following her closely for clues as to where her character was coming
from. And yes, there were plenty. As for the nudity, this emphasizes
her character's vulnerability, especially when contrasted with her
clients. The key moment here is when she finds, after starting her
"sleeping beauty" job, that she's no longer comfortable sleeping naked
at home, and puts on some undies. What her eyes don't remember from her
sleeping sessions, it seems her body memory does.

Like the above review suggests, there are a lot of opinions out there
about how opaque the film is supposed to be; that's not true at all.
The film does leave some gaps for your imagination, and it tends to
make you focus on detail and draw your own conclusions –everything
isn't spelled out in neat little packets of dialog, as some seem to
wish for. ("I'm prostituting myself because my daddy didn't love me
when I was young and my mother's an alcoholic." — I suppose that would
be the American version.) This is hardly "Inland Empire", though, and
the plot dots are certainly there to be connected for anyone who's
looking. The pace is hypnotic, which some will call "slow", and the
ending is deliberately vague, but I was surprised how much it left me
thinking about the characters, what happened to them both before and
after. Haunting.