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Review: "The Wild Pear Tree" Is Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Beguiling Portrait of Life in Modern Turkey

Though the 188-minute running time for The Wild Pear Tree, Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s latest film following his 2014 Palme d’Or win for Winter’s Sleep, may seem daunting, those patient or curious enough to see it will have their good faith pay off in emotional spades, for this is a film whose piercing potency slowly creeps up on you, burrows into your psyche, and lingers long after the film’s final frame. All of which is to say, this film earns every one of those 188 minutes. As with his prior features, including Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011), The Wild Pear Tree demonstrates Ceylan’s personal affection for, and preoccupations with, Russian literature, and the film’s rhythms, themes, and observations make both implicit and explicit references to Chekov, Tolstoy, and Dostoyevsky. Reasonable, though cursory, comparisons could also be made to Mike NicholsThe Graduate—another film

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