Sleeping Beauty

Written and directed by Julia Leigh (eOne)

"Jane Campion Presents" gives writer/director Leigh's first feature an instant whiff of artistic credibility, as does the deliberate, Kubrick-esque chilliness in the tale of a student, Lucy (Emily Browning), who moonlights as a prostitute and gets mixed up with a organization providing unconscious, drugged women to an exclusive clientele. It's hard to tell what Leigh is trying to say with her film, about women and their freedom to choose their own path or about the perverse desires of men in power. In that regard it draws another Kubrick parallel, to his creepy, dreamlike Eyes Wide Shut. Like that film, the frequent nudity may titillate some, but this is hardly sexy stuff. Weirdly hypnotic, though.

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