Winter Sleep (Kis uykusu)
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Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2014 Festival de Cannes, the latest film from Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan is an immersive, provocative Chekhovian drama.
Set in the picturesque and striking landscape of Cappadocia in Central Anatolia, ‘Winter Sleep’ focuses on a small village, half-empty, in the wintry off-season. The film follows a local celebrity, Aydin (Haluk Bilginer), an actor who runs a small hotel with his wife, writes a column for the local newspaper, and is toying with the idea of authoring a book on Turkish theatre. Like all the villagers, Aydin has time on his hands, but as the film progresses, the director carefully strips away the veneer that surrounds this self-satisfied and insular man. Through some magnificent set pieces, beautifully written and performed, we get a close look at Aydin's interactions with his wife, his recently divorced sister, and a family of locals who are tenants of one of his properties.
With a steady, penetrating gaze, Ceylan cuts through the smug self-image of a man who considers himself of elevated stature, but is ultimately brought face-to-face with who and what he truly is. Awarded the International Critics Prize in Cannes in addition to the Palme d’Or, ‘Winter Sleep’ is a compelling and hypnotic study of human frailty.