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"Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s film, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, concerns Mr. Aydin, a former actor who runs a hotel in the mountains. His place is a near-castle, the locals bow before him and he has a gorgeous wife.
But, as is the way of such Bergmanesque dramas, Aydin’s hotel is all but empty, the locals despise him, and his wife no longer loves him. As superbly played by Haluk Bilginer, Aydin’s benevolent self-image is maintained by manipulating others. (“It’s incredible how you rise to the surface like olive oil,” says his sister.)
Beautiful to look at, with its burnished interiors and magnificent Turkish steppes, this long film builds to a powerful conclusion. Ceylan’s characters grind each other to a powder while hardly raising their voices."