The Palme d’Or winner from Nuri Bilge Ceylan is set in the hilly landscape of Cappadocia in Central Anatolia, where the local celebrity, a former actor Aydin (Haluk Bilginer), owns a small hotel cut into the hillside. It’s now winter and the off-season. Aydin runs the hotel with his younger wife Nihal (Melisa Sözen), writes a column for the local newspaper, and is playing with the idea of producing a book on Turkish theatre.
He has also inherited local properties from his father, but leaves the business of rent collection to his agent. When a local boy, resentful of his father’s humiliation at the hands of the agent, throws a stone at a jeep whilst Aydin and his agent are driving in it, Aydin ducks out of any responsibility or involvement.
As the film progresses, the cocoon in which the self-satisfied and insular man has wrapped himself is gradually unravelled . In a series of magnificent set pieces, the film takes a close look at Aydin’s interactions with his wife, his recently divorced sister, and the family of the stone-throwing boy.
Aydin is finally brought face-to-face with who and what he truly is.