This may be a three-hour 15-minute Turkish movie, but it's utterly riveting in the way it explores big issues through lively, edgy characters. The winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes, there isn't a dull moment in the film, which grapples cleverly with issues of justice and conscience in a fascinating rural setting. But the conversations could take place anywhere, and in the end, the film also becomes a witty, surprisingly moving exploration of how the growing gap between rich and poor is changing the world.
But it's always about the people, centring on middle-aged Aydin (Haluk Bilginer), who worked as a stage actor for 25 years before returning to central Anatolia to run the family's hotel, which like much of the local village is partially carved right into the rocks. Aydin lives with his intelligent young wife Nihal (Melisa Sozen) and his sardonic sister Necla (Demet Akbag), and has a faithful assistant in Hidayet (Ayberk Pekcan), but he has no idea that the villagers think of him as a wealthy land owner who sends his goons to harshly collect their back rent. Aydin discovers this when a young boy (Emirhan Doruktutan) throws a rock through his car window and he reluctantly begins an ongoing conversation with the boy's on-the-edge father (Nejat Isler) and far too smiley uncle (Serhat Mustafa Kilic), a local imam. But as Aydin tries to make sense of this, he opens Pandora's box with both his wife and sister.
All of these characters are utterly fascinating, real-life people with big personalities who speak their minds even when they probably shouldn't. At the centre, Bilginer is magnetic as Aydin, a likeably bullheaded man who simply can't see his own flaws (although everyone else sees them!). All of the performances are earthy and natural, which makes every encounter utterly riveting. When these people talk about the social changes taking place around them, it's easy to see these same issues in our own lives. When they argue about the morality of resisting an evil act, we think the answer is a no-brainer until the characters begin making sense in ways we never thought of before.
Continue reading: Winter Sleep Review
Nuri Bilge Ceylan takes the top prize
Before Cannes 2014, to suggest ‘Winter Sleep’ would take the prestigious Palme D’Or back to Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s native Turkey would have been a leftfield choice. But after the second day screening of the 3 hour 16 minute film, the destination of this year’s prize was known to some with 9 days of the festival left to run.
Nuri Bilge Ceylan picks up the prestigous Palm D'Or
The movie centres on a family running a hotel in the snow-capped Turkish mountains, gently peeling away at the psychology behind the father character as he deals with family and business crises alike. In his acceptance speech, Ceylan noted that “This year is the 100th year of Turkish cinema, and it’s a good coincidence I think. I want to dedicate the prize to the young people of Turkey,” and, referring to the 11 deaths in antigovernment protests that began in May 2013, said: “especially those who lost their lives during the last year.”
Iconic British directors Ken Loach and Mike Leigh will face off in the In Competition section at the Cannes Film Festival next month with their new films 'Jimmy's Hall' and 'Mr Turner' respectively.
The British film directors, who have both won the top Palme d'Or prize in the past, will go up against 18 other movies in the In Competition segment, including David Cronenberg with his Robert Pattinson-starring 'Maps To The Stars', and Olivier Assayas' 'Clouds of Sils Maria', which features Kristen Stewart and Chloe Grace Moretz.
The battle between the two iconic filmmakers sees Loach compete with 'Jimmy's Hall', a tale about the Irish communist leader James Gralton, while Leigh's 'Mr Turner' is a biopic of the artist JMW Turner, played by Timothy Spall.
Continue reading: Ken Loach And Mike Leigh Go Head-to-head At Cannes 2014
As the sun begins to set, prosecutor Nusret (Birsel) and policeman Naci (Erdogan) lead a convoy into the countryside looking for a dead body. Guided by the unhelpful suspect Kenan (Tanis), the group moves from place to place, seemingly on a wild goose chase. During this time, Nusret and Naci get to know Dr Cemal (Uzuner), who is along to examine the body. And Naci's driver Arab (Taylan) also adds to the mix of personalities driving in circles through the long, dark night.
Continue reading: Once Upon A Time In Anatolia Review
Terence Malick's 'The Tree of Life' starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn has won the Palme d'Or at the 64th Cannes Film Festival.
'The Tree Of Life' has been awarded the Palme d'Or at this year's 64th Cannes Film Festival.
The Terence Malick movie - starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn - picked up the top prize at the closing ceremony last night (22.05.11) after receiving the majority of votes from the jury led by Robert De Niro and including Uma Thurman and Jude Law, despite being booed by a section of the crowd at its first screening.
Although it was not a unanimous choice, Robert revealed the film had the backing of the majority of the jury.
Continue reading: Brad Pitt's The Tree Of Life Awarded Palme D'or
The wife is Hacer (Hatice Aslan) and her husband, Eyüp, is played by the brooding Yavuz Bingol. Eyüp took a year in prison to save the political career of his employer, a politician named Servet (Ercan Kesal), who accidentally ran over a woman when he fell asleep at the wheel on a dark road. As she watches the AK Party and Prime Minister Erdo?an take power on television, Hacer flounders about what to do with her son Ismael (Rifat Sungar), a layabout who gets in trouble with gangs and drinks too much. She finds escape through an affair with Servet, only a few months before her husband is set to return, which her son walks in on one day.
Continue reading: Three Monkeys Review
Istanbul photographer (Muzaffer Özdemir) lives a dull and boring life, wishing for something to happen. Photographer's distant cousin (Emin Toprak) arrives in town looking for a job and a place to crash. Cousin sleeps at photographer's house, eventually wearing out his welcome. Finally he leaves.
Continue reading: Distant Review
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