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May 07, 2015

Winter Sleep

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Kış Uykusu
Nuri Bilge Ceylan - 2014
Adopt Films BD Region A

Sometimes, being a film critic is like being a gourmand at a buffet table. I am sometimes offered more films to write about than I really have time to cover. My other problem is to recognize that there are some films that I really am unable to write about. These are films that are worth watching, but that I feel I can not write about in any meaningful way. Such is the case of Winter Sleep.

I've seen several of Ceylan's previous films. I wrote a short review of Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. And it's not like this is a bad film. This is not going to be a rant stating that the other film critics and Cannes jurors who liked or loved this film are wrong.

Maybe I have to come to grips with my own limited intelligence. Part of the film is devoted to a discussion about how one is to deal with evil. One of the characters is certain that the way to reform her abusive husband is to apologize to him with assumption that her act will create in the man a sense of shame. Aside from my inability to be convinced by the woman's argument, the conversation became too abstract and not very interesting. And it's not like I don't like people having philosophical discussions in movies. Most of My Night at Maud's is Jean-Louis Trintignant having a high brow discussion with Francoise Fabian, and I've seen Eric Rohmer's film several times, including television. I also liked Mindwalk with Liv Ullman discussing abstract ideas with John Heard and Sam Waterston, wandering around Mont St. Michel.

There were a few moments of interest, the scenes with the wild horses, the exploration of the rocky landscape with the hotel build within a mountain top. And I would not think of dissuading anyone who wants to see Ceylan's film. Every film worth watching usually has its own set of demands on the viewer. This was one of those rare times when I found myself unable to connect with what was happening onscreen.

Posted by peter at May 7, 2015 01:14 PM