Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Adopt Films

In his most talky and arguably most “Turkish” film to date, writer/director Nuri Bilge Ceylan grandly ponders and elaborates on an immense amount of thickset, intricate and ever so spiraling drama around the human condition. 2014’s Palme d’Or winner Winter Sleep, the seventh feature of Ceylan’s career, takes aim throughout its 196-minute expansive running time and shoots its thorny ideas around class, society and the many self-righteous trivialities of the privileged to an often brutally truthful outcome. Not all of these bullets always find a target, mind you –Winter Sleep occasionally squanders its wealth of wisdom amid hitting redundant notes (one can imagine a shorter and equally effective film)– but when they do, the icy, visceral pain it evokes is at once humanizing and mystifying in equal measure. 

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The average movie run time is somewhere around the ninety minute mark. (I have no stats to back that statement up, but it feels about right.) There are several reasons for this, but the two most common probably have as much to do with the short attention span of audiences as it does the desire of studios and theaters to fit more screenings in per day. To those I would add that most movies don’t need more than two hours to tell their story. But some do. Think Schindler’s List, The Godfather Part II, and JFK. These are big movies telling big stories, and they show that sometimes a film needs a longer canvas. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is not one of those films. Which is unfortunate, because in every regard other than time management this is a fairly fascinating and engaging character drama.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B


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