2014 Cannes film festival’s Palme d’Or winner, Winter sleep, tells the tale of Aydin (Haluk Bilginer), a former actor, owner of a mountaintop hotel resort in Cappadocia, Turkey. He lives there with his young wife, Nihal (Melisa Sözen), and his sister Necla (Demet Akbag). The bearded, disheveled and taciturn Aydin also owns houses which he rents out to impoverished tenants. One day the son of his tenant, İsmail, throws a stone at Aydin’s jeep, breaking a window. The situation is not helped by the fact the İsmail has been unable to pay the rent. Winter coming and the hotel clients leaving makes Aydin unhappy. He spends most of his time writing a newspaper column and planning a book on the history of Turkish theater. Necla and Aydin fight, with Necla criticising his writing. Later on, when his wife organizes a school fundraiser meeting at the hotel, Aydin becomes very negative. They fight and he decides to leave for Istanbul. Aydin is a very unsympathetic character with a sence of entitlement. I found Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s previous film, Once upon a time in Anatolia, much more to my liking. But at a running time of over three hours, with a series of long conversations (one of them 20 long minutes), it was difficult to stay awake, Palme d’Or or not.
Winter sleep (Kis uykusu)