Winter Sleep – Winner of top prize at Cannes 2014

Haluk Bilginer and Melisa Sözen in Winter Sleep, which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes 2014
Haluk Bilginer and Melisa Sözen in Winter Sleep, Palme d’Or winner

So I heard this film won the best and most coveted prize, the Palme d’Or  at The Cannes International Film Festival’s 67th edition this year. This naturally piqued my interest, and after checking out the trailer (which you can see below with English subtitles) I’m pretty excited to see the rest of the film.

The Turkish title of the film is ‘Kis Uykusu’, which translates directly to ‘hibernate’ or ‘Winter Sleep’ as is the film’s English title.

What captures me about the trailer is the level of intellect in the snippets of dialogue used. I can’t say much about it at this point having not watched it, but you can read the basic plot below, as per The Cannes Film festival on IMDb.

Aydin, a former actor, runs a small hotel in central Anatolia with his young wife Nihal with whom he has a stormy relationship and his sister Necla who is suffering from her recent divorce. In winter as the snow begins to fall, the hotel turns into a shelter but also an inescapable place that fuels their animosities…

The film was directed by Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan, and stars Haluk Bilginer, Melisa Sözen and Demet Akbag.

Currently standing on a 9.9/10 rating on IMDb with just under 700 user votes, Winter Sleep  is more than 3-hours long with a total running time of 196 minutes.

I think it’s pretty amazing, yet poignant in the light of recent unrest in Turkey, that Turkish cinema celebrates 100 years this year, and that Nuri Bilge Ceylan dedicated his award at Cannes to the young people who had lost their lives and been a part of the current struggle in his home country.

Click here for a brief history of The Pamle d’Or, the most prestigious award at Cannes.

Click here for more information on Winter sleep via IMDb. 

List of competition winners at this year’s Cannes International Film festival:

Palme d’Or: “Winter Sleep” (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)

Grand Prix: “The Wonders” (Alice Rohrwacher)

Best Director: Bennett Miller, “Foxcatcher”

Best Actor: Timothy Spall, (“Mr. Turner”)

Best Actress: Julianne Moore, “Maps to the Stars”

Jury Prize (tie): “Mommy” and “Goodbye to Language”

Screenplay: Andrey Zvyagintsev and Oleg Negin, “Leviathan”

Have you been following the news on Cannes over the past few weeks? Let us know your thoughts on the outcomes, and which films you’re looking forward to once they’re released.

About the Author: Stephen is co-founder of BTG Lifestyle, and an aspiring filmmaker who would love to take a piece to Cannes one day. Ah, one day is one day.


Editor-in-Chief at BTG Lifestyle. For cinema.


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