This piece appears in the Summer 2014 issue of Cinema Scope.
Seemingly preordained, director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s overdue Palme d’Or win provided a nonetheless satisfying conclusion to a rather undramatic Cannes film festival—and, further, to a closing awards ceremony of otherwise empty gestures and mostly uninspired selections. A two-time recipient of the Grand Prix for Distant (2002) and Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011), as well as Best Director for Three Monkeys (2008), the 55-year-old Turkish master had not only history on his side, but an anticipant passion amongst cinephiles that portended something major. What we got was something certainly grand in scope: a 196-minute domestic drama which methodically indexes the internal trials and tribulations of three individuals confined, both physically and psychologically, to a remote, snow-capped enclave in the mountainous Anatolian hinterland region of Cappadocia. In both emotional range and pictorial scale, Winter Sleep easily supersedes anything in Ceylan’s already ambitious filmography.