My one-sentence review for Stanley Kubrick's dying film, Eyes Wide Shut, was that he somehow managed to make a movie featuring naked Nicole Kidman and rich weirdo orgies boring. As ridiculous as that mess was, there's a new opaque hunk of supposedly erotic art house weirdness in town that manages to suck any remaining molecules of atmosphere from the already airless genre: Sleeping Beauty. No, it's not anything like the fairy tale.
Here's the major selling point of this thing: Emily Browning (Sucker Punch's Baby Doll) spends half the movie totally naked. That she's (willingly) drugged unconscious for wealthy old guys to paw over is the gruesome price you pay for seeing the goodies. While she's beautiful and so porcelain-complexioned that she looks like she's made of china, the movie is so listlessly skeevy and her character so poorly-defined that there's nothing to grasp on to. The Internet was invented to grant access to the "good parts" without have endure the aimless non-plot, so get to Googling, kids, cuz there's hardly anything to discuss about this as a movie.
Browning is a student who apparently needs to work several jobs and volunteer for medical research when she's not possibly whoring at an upscale bar when she answers an ad for a job that entails wearing lingerie while serving creepy old rich people. That the other girls are way more naked isn't really explained. Then she's offered a promotion: For more money she will be drugged into a deep sleep for guys to molest as they see fit short of penetration and the main thought I had while watching these scenes was how she managed to not react to the abuse she gets from one John in particular.
The problem is that we have as a non-perv audience is that we have no effing idea what Browning is about. There are allusions to her tramping, but no details as to what she's actually up to. She gets evicted by her roommates for non-payment of rent, but goes and rents a luxury apartment with her new income. Worst is when she lets a friend commit suicide rather than try and help him, ironically showing the most emotion in the whole piece. For a moment it seemed like writer-director Julia Leigh was going to fill in the blanks, but alas she doesn't. There is so little substance to Sleeping Beauty that I think most critics who are praising it simply projected their views of exploitation of women and other bogeymen upon the blank whiteness of the frame and read the imagined Rorschach. (I also think if a man had made this exact same film, he would have been pilloried. Somehow, having a woman calling the shots makes it all better.)
Unless you want to marvel at the naked, nubile Browning tossed around like a sack of grain without flinching, there's nothing here worth waiting for nothing to happen when you could spend the time watching an exciting muddled mess of a musing about exploitation of women, namely her Sucker Punch. She's a lot hotter in her little sailor girl outfit slaying dragons than totally nude here.
Score: 2/10. Skip it. Watch Sucker Punch twice instead.