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Epic in length, thrilling to behold, and utterly absorbing, Winter Sleep demands -- and rewards -- viewers' patient attention.
All Critics (78)
| Top Critics (23)
| Fresh (68)
| Rotten (10)
Such miserable people; why should we care? Maybe because Ceylan does.
The easy gag about the 196-minute "Winter Sleep" is that it's so good it makes 3 1/2 hours feel like two, but that's no joke.
These scenes are talky, yes, but what talk!
"Winter" feels very much like an epic novel, mirroring the pacing and themes of Chekov, whose work was its inspiration.
Think of it as dramatic slow-cooking where the ingredients take their time to come together.
Ceylan spins gold in thought and image, set to the mournful strains of Schubert's Piano Sonata No. 20, with this impeccably acted morality tale of a wealthy man who sins by omission.
If the film is in part about winter doldrums, it conveys this ennui perfectly.
Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Winter Sleep is in fact two films. It is more than fair to judge one of these films as great and the other as a bit boring.
It's a claustrophobic, bitter, terribly long movie that doesn't reward the viewer's heart or patience.
Winter Sleep progresses Ceylan's ever-evolving narrative and aesthetic strategy into what proves his most emotional and dramatic work.
The formidable running time will doubtless deter many, which is a shame: Winter Sleep is never less than richly engrossing, even if some scenes, stretched too long, take on a didactic, even slightly hectoring tone.
It's possible to admire it, but it's hard to imagine anyone truly enjoying it.
An enthralling and challenging drama with a wonderful cinematography, beautifully complex characters and thought-provoking discussions about matters like religion, morality, resignation and conscience, in ways that would leave Ingmar Bergman and Anton Chekhov proud.
In "Winter Sleep," Aydin(Haluk Bilginer), a landlord and innkeeper in a remote area of Anatolia, tours his properties with his assistant Hidayet(Ayberk Pekcan), all the while complaining about the rents not being paid on time. Almost in response to that, a stone is thrown at their car which breaks a window but causes no injuries. As angry as they are, it is not lessened by Ilyas(Emirhan Doruktutan), the culprit, being a child. But that is nothing compared to how Ilyas' father Ismail(Nejat Isler) reacts while his brother Hamdi(Serhat Kilic), a local imam, tries to calm him down.
That incident, as important as it to "Winter Sleep," is also only a part of the greater malaise that the characters suffer under. Set in a semi-feudal area like this where changes are slow to happen with intermittent signs of progress like the internet and the rare tourist, the pace of both daily life and the movie that reflects it is deliberate to say the least, gradually and carefully exploring the characters' relationships and histories throughout. Aydin is central to all of it, of course, but has little power to act, as while also keeping things as they always were, he remains an actor in a role, now in the drama his father started and cast him in.
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