Sleeping Beauty, the directorial debut by award-winning Australian author Julia Leigh, follows the movements of a beautiful and pointedly impenetrable college student named Lucy (Emily Browning) as she floats through menial jobs and anonymous dalliances. Lucy answers a newspaper ad that leads to an exclusive, well-monied world of somnophiliacs -- those with an erotic interest in watching or manipulating girls while they sleep. She accepts the work (and being drugged to do it) with the same inscrutable, china-doll blankness she maintains in all areas of her life. While Lucy’s capacity for genuine emotion is revealed in the film, Leigh does not explain her character’s pliable nihilism, nor does she let it be forgotten that the arch-passivity is a choice. Languidly paced and lushly shot, Sleeping Beauty is an art film -- the dialogue is sparse, almost decorous -- that addresses the urge to eradicate feeling through the destruction of self.
Tuesdays-Sundays, 2, 4:30, 7 & 9:15 p.m.; Mon., Jan. 30, 2, 4:30 & 9:15 p.m. Starts: Jan. 27. Continues through Feb. 2, 2012