Newest Reviews
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
Bushido Blade, The
Jiu Jitsu
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
  Sleeping Beauty Slumberland
Year: 2011
Director: Julia Leigh
Stars: Emily Browning, Rachael Blake, Ewen Leslie, Peter Carroll, Chris Haywood, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Bridgette Barrett, Hannah Bella Bowden, Les Chantery, Benita Collings, Michael Dorman, Eden Falk, Anni Finsterer, Mirrah Foulkes, James Fraser, Robin Goldsworthy
Genre: Drama, SexBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Lucy (Emily Browning) is a student at university who finds she has to supplement her income by taking part-time jobs, something rather important when she's being threatened out of her shared home by one of her flatmates who doesn't think she's pulling her weight. So far she has collected money by subjecting herself to routine medical experiments and working as a waitress, but even though she has an office job as well it doesn't seem to be doing her much good financially. This is why she has turned to prostitution, but there's always a way to go further...

Which is what offers the film its title in writer and director Julia Leigh's curious drama which appeared to take as its subject the sexual exploitation of young women by older men, only it was not quite as simple as that. Though just how complicated this was intended to be was made frostily obscure by a technique which ensured we were rarely any closer to the characters than the distance across the room: really this could have been filmed on CCTV for all the intimacy it elicited. Therefore many found the movie a distinct turn-off thanks to how far Leigh remained from her subjects, but if you persevered there was insight here.

Part of the problem here was Lucy could be described as passive aggressive, with the emphasis on the passive, especially in light of how she gets a big monetary bonus later on in the story. Deliberately Leigh made her not an especially warm personality, so that even when she is being what could best be described as abused for cash, we don't feel as though we want to protect her as would be the case with so many other works in this vein, and that was not due to us wanting to see her punished, it was more to do with the difficulty of getting inside her head and seeing her abusers as pathetic and impotent. That said, there was a streak of the rebel in Lucy which meant her very act of entering the specialised sex industry was some kind of fighting back against her surroundings.

The film's mildly notorious scenes did not occur straight away, as there was a build up to them: a chilly, emotionless build up at that. She answers an advertisement in the student newspaper looking for young women who will be willing to take part in a distinct form of entertaining, which leads to an interview with the apparent head of the company (Rachael Blake) providing the services and a new job, one which pays very well. There are conditions, but for Lucy this seems like easy money, even if it does play out in a rather sinister fashion, which is to perform as a waitress yet again, but this time at an exclusive dinner party, and in expensive underwear for the whole of the evening.

Here we see the women, for there are others dressed even more revealingly, being exploited even if there do not appear to be any sexual acts involved as the fact these older people have power over the younger seems to be as debauched as the Nazis in Pier Paolo Pasolini's Salò, if to somewhat less extreme consequences. That said, when Lucy gets the chance to gather more funds she takes it, by which time we have seen she is not some downtrodden but coldhearted ice queen for she does look after her shut-in friend (Ewen Leslie), and the modern world has never allowed her any more emotional connection than that, though this is taken away from her too, which could explain why she believes she has very little left to lose. The sequences where she is drugged unconscious with her consent and manipulated in that state by wealthy old men were the main talking point (what if she started snoring?), yet Lucy was so awkward to get to know that while she may be jolted out of her constricted life by the finale, you don't hold out much hope for her otherwise. Music by Ben Frost.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2177 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash


Last Updated: