The Turkish film Uzak, (Distant) won the Grand Prize, or second place this year at Cannes Film Festival. The slow-moving film by Nuri Bilge Ceylan is about a jobless man from the countryside who irritates his sophisticated city cousin by moving into his apartment.
Uzak's two stars, Muzaffer Ozdemir and the late Mehmet Emin Toprak, shared the award for best actor. They played the two cousins – both lonely and alienated, but unable to become friends.
Toprak died in a car crash shortly after learning that the film was selected to show in Cannes; Ozdemir is an architect by profession, not an actor. His performance therefore becomes that much more noteworthy and reminiscent of Robert Bresson's style of filmmaking. The film auteur preferred working with non-actors because they were more natural than the professionals themselves.
Ozedmir's award further vindicates Bresson's stand. The film is a must watch.