WINTER SLEEP richly deserved to win the Golden Palm at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s seventh feature-length film revolves around aging actor Aydin, who lives with his young wife and his sister in a hotel in Cappadocia, which he has inherited from his father. The region in Central Anatolia is notable for its strikingly unreal-looking natural rock landscape, with human dwellings carved into it. A fitting image for the main characters as well: they have long ago retreated into their emotional caves, and are now living side by side rather than together. When a young boy from the village throws a stone at Aydin’s SUV, the rigid status quo is shaken up. WINTER SLEEP mainly consists of long, brilliantly written dialogue scenes of rare intensity. Quoting Shakespeare and Chekhov at the end of the film, Ceylan quite immodestly tips the hat to his role models. With the help of his outstanding cast, he comes remarkably close to matching the example of these paragons.
Winter Sleep (Kış Uykusu)
Memento Films International
9, Cité Paradis
Selected filmography Nuri Bilge Ceylan
THE SMALL TOWN (1997), CLOUDS OF MAY (1999), DISTANT (2002), THREE MONKEYS (2008), ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA (2011)