A Film With Me in It. Then last year, we got another good (though not great) Romanian movie to start our year, If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle. For 2012, however, we may finally have a great one: ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA, the latest film from Turkey's Nuri Bilge Ceylan and not coincidentally, that country's submission for this year's Best Foreign Language Film "Oscar" race.
TrustMovies has remained warm-to-luke regarding the work of Mr. Ceylan (pictured at left). The three films I've seen from this sometimes interesting and always visually stunning writer/
director have ranged from the style-heavy/content-light Distant to the better-balanced relationship movie Climates to the problematic and melodramatic Three Monkeys. (After seeing that last film I did wonder if this filmmaker had finally lived up -- well, down -- to his middle name). Now, with Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Ceylan appears to have made a quantum leap regarding his storytelling skills while losing nothing of his consummate visual panache.
AMC's recent, pretentious murder-as-entertainment-porn series The Killing, Ceylan's film takes us deep, deep into the personal and societal ramifications of this murder. At two hours and 27 minutes, we've plenty of time to ingest the unhurried pace and breathtaking cinematography, as well as to slowly come to appreciate and understand the many characters on view.
Muhammet Uzuner, above, right), and a chief investigator. There's small talk of yoghurt, then business talk of fields, trees and a hole dug. For buried treasure? A body? Slowly we learn, in the most non-expository, off-handed conversation, of which the below is a fine example:
Look at Tevfik. He never misses a chance: