Winter Sleep

By the time his pirated copy of 'Winter Sleep' had downloaded, he'd grown a beard.
By the time his pirated copy of ‘Winter Sleep’ had downloaded, he’d grown a beard.

Original title: Kis uykusu

At 196 minutes long, this Turkish character study is more watchable than it has any right to be.

Aydin, an ex-actor, runs a small hotel and rents out his other inherited village properties to tenants. Many are struggling to pay their rent, but he lets his manager deal with all that.

We watch Aydin, all studied affability, go about his dull but comfortable life, writing a local newspaper column, chatting to guests, and negotiating a prickly relationship with his much younger wife. His sister also lives at the hotel.

It’s the stuff of an E. M. Forster or even older period drama centred on rich, bored and isolated minor aristocrats. Aydin feels he’s above his fellow man, but it’s because his wealth has given him the luxury of affordable principles. He is (slowly) forced to re-evaluate the persona he has created for himself, but can he change? 7/10

Released November 13, 2014.

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