Journey Gala in association with Sight & Sound

Winter Sleep

Kış Uykusu

Beautifully performed, scripted and shot, Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Palme d’Or-winner is an incisive, intimate epic about male foibles and marital tensions.

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  • Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan
  • Producer Zeynep Özbatur Atakan
  • Screenwriter Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Ebru Ceylan
  • With Haluk Bilginer, Melisa Sözen, Demet Akbağ
  • Turkey 2014
  • 196 mins
  • UK distribution New Wave Films

Deserving winner of this year’s Cannes Palme d’Or, Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s extraordinary film blends a daringly digressive and extended narrative structure (foreshadowed in Once Upon a Time in Anatolia) with the uneasy intimacy and incisive bite of a Bergman chamberwork. Retired actor Aydin (Bilginer) lives with his young wife Nihal (Sözen) and divorcee sister Necla (Akbað) at his boutique hotel in remote Cappadocia; generally preoccupied with committing whatever comes into his head to a local newspaper column, he leaves any business with his late father’s tenants to his manager. Then a boy hurls a stone at his car, upsetting his routine... Ceylan has long been an insightful and uncommonly honest observer of the male psyche, and his clear-eyed dissection of Aydin’s capacity for apathy, self-deception and passive aggression is as illuminating, witty and Chekhovian as ever. But Ceylan’s pushing himself (and us): availing himself of more dialogue than hitherto and manoeuvring the marital, familial and other tensions so skilfully that the cosily lit interiors become almost claustrophobic, he leads us through a long, wintry night of the soul towards a revelation as pleasingly tentative as it is profoundly affecting. Cool yet compassionate, this is filmmaking of the first order.

Geoff Andrew

Reviewed in Time Out