Winter Sleep (Kis Uykusu)
Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Cast: Haluk Bilginer, Melisa Sozen, Demet Akbag
Language: Turkish with English subtitles
Country of Origin: Turkey 2014 196 mins
Palme d'Or 2014 Cannes International Film Festival
Released by NEW WAVE FILMS
'Masterful cinema. Stunning, extraordinary, beautiful, bold and challenging.'
Retired actor Aydin (Haluk Bilginer) runs a small hotel in central Anatolia with his beautiful young wife Nihal (Melisa Sözen) with whom he has a stormy relationship and divorcee sister Necla (Demet Akbag) and spends much of his time writing a newspaper column leaving the day-to-day running of his business affairs to his manager. Aydin's the master of his kingdom. As the snow falls and winter closes in the hotel becomes a shelter and resentments and conflict emerge. Whilst driving to the village a boy throws a stone at Aydin's car and the story begins to unfold.
'Winter Sleep' deservedly won the Palme d'Or at Cannes. It's a majestic work, bold, challenging and audacious as Ceylan weaves a character study through conversations and Chekov springs to mind. Skilfully constructed, confined, the cosy hotel a refuge, with tensions and conflict at play the layers are peeled away and Aydin, the master, the ruler of his kingdom, a fragile ego unravelled.
It's a long movie so you'll need patience, concentration and a soft cushion but it's worth it because 'Winter Sleep' is extraordinary, audacious and stunning.