Sleeping Blah!


Oh my goodness. Just been to see ‘Sleeping Beauty’. But it was definitely more Blah than Beauty. You know those movies where the director thinks that if they just make the action very, very slow – it’ll fool the audience into thinking it’s more meaningful? Argh!

Sleeping Beauty poster
Sleeping Beauty poster

Such a pity because it could’ve been a great movie, if somebody had just edited so many of the looooooong scenes of nothingness. The camera kept running for far too long on just about every scene!

The lead actress – Emily Browning – is fantastic. Emily’s an award-winning Australian actress best known for her performance as Violent in ‘Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events’ (with Jim Carrey and Meryl Streep) and as Baby Doll in ‘Sucker Punch’.

The plot revolves around Lucy (Browning), a young university student, who’ll do almost anything for money to fund her studies – filing, waitressing and taking part in medical experiments, like so many young South Africans in London do. It’s ‘easy’ money. Finally her yearn to earn leads her to a job where she’s paid to be drugged and tucked into bed like Sleeping Beauty whilst older men caress, abuse or sleep beside her.

Director Julia Leigh says she “wanted to make a film where the audience responds with ‘Did I really see that?’ and ‘Did I really hear that?’ and ‘Can such a thing really exist?’.”

Hmmm. That wasn’t quite my response. And from what I saw, I don’t think anybody else in the audience responded like that either. Nobody clapped (which usually happens at the end of a film in competition). Sadly most of us were asking: Did I really just waste a couple of hours of my life seeing that?

Most of us are already aware of such practices, so stripped of its ‘shock’ value, the story was simply not told and edited in a way that made it interesting enough to keep the audience gripped. Instead it relied on quite a bit of naked flesh to keep its audience glued to the screen. Um, actually LOTS of naked flesh.



Previous article Day Zero
Next article Let them eat Lobster
Jenni is the co-founder and chief editor of, co-author of The Expat Confessions and co-parent of three gorgeous daughters. After graduating, she worked as a TV producer, political researcher and journalist in South Africa, before moving to London to interview movie stars for international magazines and to tackle British teen angst for London Weekend Television. She has also lived in Australia, and currently lives in France. Jenni is happiest paddle boarding on the Med or sipping rooibos in the bush in Africa. Contact