Len Fearnside’s review published on Letterboxd:
I've been trying for a couple of days now to write a review for Winter Sleep, but after every opening sentence I hit a wall. I honestly do not have a tonne to say and for a movie which is over three hours long and which I know, deep down, that I actually liked quite a bit, well it is a very strange feeling.
The setting is fantastic and every shot of the film is so brilliantly framed that you are brought into it and enveloped within this little nest of the world that I have never really seen before. For the first hour I was quite riveted and I thought I was in for the same wonderful ride I'd experience throughout One Upon A Time In Anatolia, but once we hit the second hour, I started to lose focus. All of the arguing in the house kind of drove me mental and it made me hate every single one of the main characters.
I know it's not feasible, or even fair, but in some way I feel like the entire middle of the film could have been removed and I would have been left with a more enjoyable and less aggravating experience. Maybe that is the point; the fact that this hotel where they are all, to varying degrees (one through marriage, one through divorce, and one through old age) trapped and it's their frustrations manifesting themselves through verbal and emotional attacks on the other people. If that is the case, then I guess it was effective, but it just left me feeling irritated and wanting it to be over.
The final third redeemed things to a certain degree and I ended up with overall positive feelings on the film and heck, it's so damn gorgeous it's not like I could ever truly dislike the film, I just had really high expectations after Anatolia and it kind of let me down.