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Morvern Callar


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1-Disc Version


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Product Details

  • Actors: Samantha Morton, Kathleen McDermott, Linda McGuire, Paul Popplewell, Ruby Milton
  • Directors: Lynne Ramsay
  • Writers: Lynne Ramsay, Alan Warner, Liana Dognini
  • Producers: Andras Hamori, Barbara McKissack, Charles Pattinson, David M. Thompson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Palm Pictures / Umvd
  • DVD Release Date: October 19, 2004
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0004Z32JC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,744 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Morvern Callar" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

Nothing was gained or lost, or learned.
Daniel Vaccaro
Brilliantly natural acting, daring cinematography, and a precise director's eye (the award-winning Lynne Ramsay) make this an interesting but disturbing film.
Wanda B. Red
If that doesn't sound like your sort of thing then this movie probably won't be.
Stephen M. Glaister

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 21, 2003
Format: DVD
Many people might not understand Lynn Ramsay's beautiful cinematic adaptation of Alan Warner's novel Morvern Callar because they have not read the novel. Of course many people who read the novel misunderstood Morvern, as well. In a cold port town in Scotland, Morvern is faced with a life that is void of hope and comfort. Instead of bitching about it, she turns inward to music and films. When her boyfriend committs suicide on Christmas Eve, Morvern finds herself faced with letting the outside world know of her pain or hiding it from them. Disposing of his body is her way of keeping the secret, possibly even repressing her own pain. She further escapes to warmer climes, raves, and the closeness of another hurting human body. Just as in Scotland, Morvern finds herself only able to relate to the land and the music of Spain. Although she is physically close with the sweaty bodies during the rave scenes, she is metaphorically distant and unable to relate. The soundtrack captures this brilliantly with the juxtaposition of "while I'm far away from you my baby" over the psychodelic rave scene.
After Ratcatcher, I could think of no better person to adapt this groundbreaking novel than Lynne Ramsay.
It's simply brilliant.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ehkzu on December 30, 2008
Format: DVD
I don't get the negative reviews for "Morvern Callar." I can understand why many won't like this film--but I can't understand why they watched it. You can tell what kind of film it is right off the bat. Don't their DVD players have OFF switches?

Here's who should watch it:
(1) people who appreciate great acting--Samantha Morton is amazing;
(2) people who realize that the choices available to middle class, college educated Americans are not the choices available to lower working class Scots living in a stratified society where your accent is your destiny. Think "My Fair Lady" except Eliza Doolittle never met Professor 'iggins and had to make her way on her own, only set in the 1990s, only the UK hasn't changed that much in this regard;
(3) people who don't require Hollywood production values, special effects sequences, and artificially flavored happy endings;
(4) people who are prepared to admire Morvern for using everything at her disposal to cope with the rotten hand life dealt her.

I'd be honored to know someone like Morvern, inarticulate working-class bloke that she is. Her educated artistic boyfriend saw something in her that isn't obvious at the beginning--except that she's reasonably attractive. What's inside her is slowly revealed through the course of the movie, which will only seem aimless to those who want to be lead by the hand, like Hollywood is only too happy to do.

My spouse thoroughly disapproved of this movie and Morvern's life choices, and I haven't been able to change her mind. So I understand how appalled some will be at this movie, even some who have been exposed to hundreds of interesting films from all over the world.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on November 26, 2004
Format: DVD
Winner of awards for Best Actress (for both Samantha Morton and Kathleen McDermott in different competitions), Best Direction (Lynne Ramsay), and Best Cinematography (Alwin Kuchler) at film festivals from Cannes to Bratislava, Morvern Callar is a strange, haunting picture of alienated youth with few goals and even fewer opportunities. From the outset Morvern Callar (Samantha Morton) is passive and emotionally frozen. Waking up Christmas morning, she discovers her boyfriend dead beside her, a suicide, but she ignores the body, puts on her makeup and goes out to a party, where she drinks, dances, goes to bed with two people, participates in nude snowball-throwing, and tells her friend Lanna (Kathleen McDermott) that her boyfriend has "gone to another country."

He has left behind Christmas presents, recorded music, a message of love, and a just-completed novel, asking her to send it to a publisher. Changing his name to her own on the manuscript, she sends it off. She then disposes of the body, cleans the apartment, and invites her girlfriend Lanna (Kathleen McDermott) over to spend the night. Her boyfriend's "funeral money" buys tickets to Spain for a vacation with Lanna, a fellow employee in the meat room of a local supermarket. The surprising, immediate sale of his manuscript gives her additional money to travel wherever she wants in Spain, seeking action at the beach, parties with other young people, and sensual pleasure.

With some scenes filmed with a handheld camera, the film has the tone of a home movie, giving it remarkable verisimilitude. The action and the characters feel real--human--and the mumbling voices and sometimes incomprehensible accents keep the film low-key and even more realistic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie De Pue VINE VOICE on January 10, 2007
Format: DVD
"Morvern Callar," a film directed by Lynn Ramsey, is another very dark, very Scottish film made with the assistance of the Glasgow Film Board. It's a multiple prize winner:nominated for 14 awards, it took nine. It's based on a novel by Alan Warner, and might be considered another entry in the tartan noir school of filmmaking: just a bit bloodthirsty; more than a little graphic in its portrayal of young people going about their daily rounds of sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

The highly talented Samantha Morton stars as Morvern Callar, a young woman without a future, working as a grocery store clerk in Oban, a picturesque town, full of retirees, on Scotland's west coast. It's a town where futures are not made. She awakes one morning to find her boyfriend has committed suicide. Her behavior then is not what we'd expect; it goes well beyond ordinary denial as we'd conceive it. She spends the funeral money he'd left her to get herself and her best friend from the store to a vacation in Spain; lots of sex, drugs and rock and roll to be found there. She also signs her name to the novel the boyfriend had written, and sets about trying to sell it as he'd instructed on his last disk.

Director Ramsey, in this movie, follows the maxim "Show, Don't Tell." It's intense, frequently color-saturated, particularly in the Spanish scenes, and moves fast. No spoon feeding of what to think, no backstory, no voiceovers, just a close up,unblinking eye on Morvern and company. Her first film, "Ratcatcher," also set in Glasgow, was almost unwatchable in some unbearably dark scenes;evidently she doesn't believe in going easy on her audience.
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