A Bleak, Stark White Scene Opens Julia Leigh 's ' Sleeping Beauty '

1792 WordsMar 16, 20168 Pages
Prince-less Beauty A bleak, stark white scene opens Julia Leigh’s Sleeping Beauty. The protagonist, Lucy, enters the frame and blends in perfectly. Her pale skin, light hair, and rustled white top are in perfect unison with the monochromatic scene catching her stuff a tube down her throat as a research subject. The audience is compelled to watch this unsettling scene for several minutes, setting the pace for the remainder of the movie. The film explores a character whose lacking personality allows the viewer to perceive her as they choose. In particular, Lucy’s friend’s, Birdman’s, funeral is a compelling scene that reflects on her past; it allows the viewer to realize that her sleeping emotions are caused by her missed opportunity to be…show more content…
Each night Clara profits from Lucy’s eccentric beauty. Men toy with her limp body, lift her from the satin sheets, and are left reminiscent of their youth as it lies unattainably in front of them. Lucy is seen having only one friend throughout the film, a frail, lanky young man named Birdman. Both lacking the will for social engagement find comfort in one another’s presence. Despite Lucy not being interested in Birdman’s romantic advances, she is able to show some of her masked emotion in his presence. One day, in a light mannerism, she asks him to marry her. Birdman, knowing the offer contains no serious commitment, laughingly agrees. However, he is with his own vices. On a seemingly normal visit, Lucy walks in on Birdman overdosed. He lies in bed waiting for death to approach and whisk him away eternally. Lucy is present through his last moments, weeping in his arms, but does not call the authorities to notify of his death. Two weeks later, at the funeral, Lucy engages in conversations with one of her former boyfriends. Similarly, Lucy asks him to marry her as well, however, his reaction is in stark contrast to that of Birdman. He is a bag of mixed emotions; sour, taken aback, and frustrated at the simplest. This is one of the few short glimpses into her past life. Not letting anything affect her, she continues to work, both over and under the table. It isn’t until the very end when Lucy’s client spends the night with her and never awakens, do we
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