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> Kış Uykusu / Winter Sleep, It won the Palm d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival 2014!
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post Apr 15 2015, 09:51 AM
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"Winter Sleep" is a Turkish film that was originally screened in last year's Cannes Film Festival. It was regarded as one of the big favorites for the Palme d'Or, which it eventually won, and received the best reviews! Moreover, it was the official submission for Turkey for the "Best Foreign Language Film" category at the Academy Awards but it was not chosen to be one of the nine movies which made January shortlist. In my country, it was delayed enough to be released, but this did not discourage the Greek audience that defied the cold and went massively to watch it in the cinema. Especially the opening week had very good earnings although it was played only in two cinema halls.
"Winter Sleep" is the first Turkish film that I watched at the cinema and to be honest, I wanted to see it for a long time. Turkish productions are good and this specific movie managed to win two awards at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, including the Palme d'Or and the FIPRESCI Prize. However, I am not fond of Turkish series which I've watched patchy at times on TV and my opinion is very negative about their content. They are based mainly on intrigues, conspiracies and schemes, they have permanently bickerings while the actors repeat the same Turkish phrases/words each time. However, the cinema is usually distinguished from the TV productions of every country, so I assumed that “Winter Sleep” would have a more sophisticated result. However, what concerns me more about this movie was its huge duration that exceeds three hours. It’s actually 196 minutes long. The fact that it is a social/drama, with this title, it was obvious that it would be quite boring. And indeed this happened. "Winter Sleep" was very slow and continuous dull and the depressing shots did not help the whole atmosphere. Let alone, two actors tortured a horse while they tried to capture it close to a river and the director is being sued for alleged animal cruelty. I guess that the director did it because he wanted a very powerful, realistic scene but many people found it totally unacceptable and horrible as me. Nevertheless, the film had well-written dialogues, well-developed characters, very good performances and the photography was exquisite. "Winter Sleep" is loosely based on two short stories by Chekhov; "The Wife" and "Excellent People". The director of the film is Nuri Bilge Ceylan, who wrote the script along with his wife Ebru Ceylan. Nuri Bilge Ceylan has done a remarkable job in "Winter Sleep" but he should have been more careful about the length of the film. You can only imagine that the original duration was 4.30 hours! It caused me to yawn a lot even though I saw it in the afternoon screening and its plot did not have something that was notable. I was not touched at all by the story and some scenes could have been cut in editing. It would be good if social films with profound meanings not exceed two hours in their whole duration, because after some time, they end up being tedious and burdensome to the viewers. And this film manages to throw the audience into a cinematic "winter sleep". Although possibly some viewers like this situation because people’s taste are quite weird nowadays.
I think that "Winter Sleep" was overestimated enough from the critics and hipsters all around the world. This is definitely not a bad movie but it doesn’t differ from the other films of its kind. Perhaps, elderly people would like it because I noticed that the cinema hall was full of elderly and middle-aged women who watched this movie with devotion. I didn’t hear even a whisper! It has also received a very high average score in IMDb, which I find it quite exaggerated when much better films have worst average scores. I personally never liked boring movies, no matter how good quality they had, like the movie "Ida". My main criteria in the cinema is the enthusiasm, the sensationalism, the emotion and the speculation, but "Winter Sleep" did not cause me any of them.

This post has been edited by Insomnio: Apr 29 2015, 01:54 PM
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