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Annual Top Films Lists

Through the Looking-Glass…Top 200 Most Anticipated Films of 2017: #4. Ulrike Ottinger’s The Beautiful Woman Sleeping

The Beautiful Woman Sleeping

Director: Ulrike Ottinger
Writers: Ulrike Ottinger, Elfriede Jelinek

It is with great pleasure we feature the announced plans for a new film from German auteur Ulrike Ottinger, a provocative artist perhaps best remembered for 1981’s Freak Orlando, starring Magdalena Montezuma and Delphine Seyrig, an exemplification of her own surrealist style. Ottinger is also an applauded documentarian, her last project being 2011’s Under Snow. But it’s been well over a decade since we’ve seen Ottinger tackle a fictional narrative, the last being 2004’s Twelve Chairs. Around 2007/2008, an announcement was made for Ottinger to make a feminist vampire film about the infamous historical figure Countess Bathory, set to star Tilda Swinton and Isabelle Huppert. The project never got off the ground (and Julie Delpy went ahead with her own recuperation, The Countess). However, in early 2015, Amour Fou Films announced two projects with writer Elfriede Jelinek (author of The Piano Teacher and winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize in literature), one being Ottinger’s Le Belle Dormeuse (The Beautiful Woman Sleeping). Production is rumored to begin in 2016, though the initial notable cast members are no longer attached.

Cast: NA

Production Co./Producers: Amour Fou Films’ Bady Minck and Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. TBD (domestic/international).

Release Date: The film would be a significant return for Ottinger, but seeing as there’s no confirmation on production, we don’t know where it would land. She competed in Berlin in 1989 with Joan Arc of Mongolia, and we assume she’d be a welcome return to the festival.


Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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