The Wild Pear Tree is a gentle, humane, beautifully made and magnificently acted movie from the Turkish film-maker and former Palme winner Nuri Bilge Ceylan: garrulous, humorous and lugubrious in his unmistakable and very engaging style. It’s an unhurried, elegiac address to the idea of childhood and your home town – and how returning to both has a bittersweet savour.
An ambitious, malcontent young graduate and would-be writer comes back to his rural village with a diploma but no job. […] The graduate is Sinan (Aydın Doğu Demirkol), who has come back with ambiguous feelings about the place where he grew up. As for so many writers, his home looks wonderful when he is away from it, when it is tamed and transformed by his imagination. […] His father is Idris, tremendously played by Murat Cemcir, a man whose youthful charm and romanticism has curdled with age into a pre-emptive bluster and cajoling.
There are some stunning images in the film: particularly the vision of a baby covered in ants, which is to be developed into that of an adult covered in ants. There are great scenes; it is in some sense a short-story anthology of such scenes. […] And all the time the question of life, and the gamble on life that we are required to make in our early 20s, runs under the movie’s meandering path. It is another deeply satisfying, intelligent piece of film-making from Ceylan.
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian