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The Wild Pear Tree(Ahlat Ağacı)

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Turkey, Republic of Macedonia, France

2018

3h 8m

Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Starring Aydın Doğu Demirkol, Murat Cemcir, Bennu Yıldırımlar, Hazar Ergüçlü

Genre Drama

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Having finished studying in the city, aspiring writer Sinan returns to his parents' rural home. However, he becomes increasingly disenchanted after spending time with his family and others in the village and becomes overwhelmed by his father's debts.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

67

TheWrap by Ben Croll

In his 2014 Palme d’Or winner, Ceylan unpacked thorny issues of ethics and morality with a surgeon’s steady patience; he employs a similar approach here, only the territory is much less fertile.
90

Village Voice by Bilge Ebiri

Ceylan delivers what might be his funniest, most politically poignant work yet. It also happens to be achingly personal.
80

Screen International by Dan Fainaru

Ceylan’s script reveals a stagnating provincial world, characters all handling their thwarted hopes and inevitable resignations in their own way.
80

The Hollywood Reporter by Deborah Young

Slow and surprisingly talky, the three hours of the film do not exactly fly by, and the experience is similar to plunging into a long novel (the hero is a budding novelist) laced with philosophy, religion, politics and moral puzzles. The final sequences are worth the wait, though, bringing together the story’s many threads and offering the classic closure of a young man coming to terms with his identity.
83

IndieWire by Eric Kohn

Rise to the challenge, and payoff awaits on the other side: a formulaic story transformed into something more perceptive and profound. If only more family dramas took such care to get the details right.
100

Variety by Jay Weissberg

Even more than in his previous film, Ceylan and his fellow scriptwriters (wife Ebru Ceylan along with Ak?n Aksu, also acting) develop astonishingly complex spoken recitatives that weave philosophy, religious tradition, and ethics together into a mesmerizing verbal fugue.
100

CineVue by Martyn Conterio

The Wild Pear Tree isn’t a showy or boldly radical work, this is still Ceylan’s brand of poetic landscapes and intimate dramas, but it does represent an intriguing artistic progression, so any claims of ‘more of the same’ are redundant.
100

The Telegraph by Robbie Collin

Ceylan expertly draws your eye and ear to the drama behind the drama, and gives the most gently naturalistic scenes the weight and grain of visions. The word visionary has been flogged by the film business to the point of redundancy, but with The Wild Pear Tree, Ceylan reminds us he has earned every letter of it.
91

The Film Stage by Rory O'Connor

The staggering emotional payoff — a transcendental moment so beautiful in its simplicity that the previous three hours of seriousness appear to melt away — is worth every last minute.

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