Morvern Callar Reviews

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May 28, 2015
Some movies are so infused with life, that it's impossible not to undermine life itself when talking about it. Lynne Ramsey is a visual poet, and a very, very talented one at that. She shines like, I don't know, things that shine without knowing that they're radiant. Like a diamond. Her film here, the first but not that last one that I'll be watching, is tremendous and breathtaking. Gorgeous but simple. Entertaining but not separate from life. It's silly to talk about plot, it's not really the point. Just watch it if you can, and make sure you have subtitles!! Scottish people...
½ February 6, 2015
After the success of Ratcatcher (1999), which put writer/director Lynne Ramsay on the map as a talent to watch out for. She immediately set about putting her next film together, based on Alan Warner's 1995 novel of the same name. This is a film about alienation and existentialism, about how people cope with grief in different ways, and the consequences that can happen in the wake of grief. Set in a remote port town in Northern Scotland, Morvern Callar (Samantha Morton) is a supermarket worker who keeps to herself, but also has a free-spirited streak about her. But, her life takes a turn when one Christmas morning, her boyfriend (Des Hamilton) has committed suicide. Morvern finds that her boyfriend has left an unpublished book and a bank account full of money, which was intended for Morvern to spend on his funeral. But, on a whim, Morvern sends the manuscript to various publishers, while she takes her best friend Lanna (Kathleen McDermott) on a holiday to the Costa Del Sol, just to get away from it all and start again. You can accuse the film of being pretentious, you can accuse the film of being full of plotholes and unanswered questions pertaining to the boyfriend. However, look at the film in a more thoughtful way, and it's a perfect bedfellow with The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976) and Under The Skin (2013), it's that kind of film, not for everyone, but worth a go.
½ October 16, 2007
Morvern Callar not only attempts to reveal an interior life, usually the province of novels, but also focuses on the interior life of a woman who refuses to open up to anyone.
August 17, 2014
An amazing performance by Samantha Morton. Unfortunately her character is very ambiguous, and we never really learn of her motivations, so watching this movie is a frustrating experience. Perhaps it's another example of a book that didn't translate well into a movie.
ElCochran90
Super Reviewer
January 4, 2014
Ramsay's minimalist scope is truly hypnotic, applying a flamboyant approach to loss, and a near-to-poetic approach to death. This incredibly talented and introspective female filmmaker constructs a character study difficult to dissect regarding the main character's intentions, and still not so difficult to empathize with. It has a delicate nature of its own, like a young soul discovering the world and its wonders when given the opportunity instead of drowning oneself into the existentialist state of "crying over spilt milk".

Featuring one of my favorite soundtracks in cinema, Morvern Callar (I love that name) offers a refreshing take on what can be seen as a personal adventure of self-discovery, and about not rejecting unexpected opportunities regardless of where they were originated from, because all experiences can lead to personal growth, as long as you give those experiences such permission.

This feels more like a debut, and precisely, this was intended to be Ramsay's first project, but directed and completed Ratcatcher (1999) before she could get additional funds for this offbeat project. It is a wonderful movie that has Samantha Morton's best performance considering her complex character.

97/100
Super Reviewer
½ July 11, 2012
Soooooo slooooooow....
November 25, 2013
It is Christmas day and young woman named Morvern Callar(Samantha Morton) has just discovered the body of her boyfriend, an artist, who has chosen the festive holidays to commit suicide. On his computer she finds an eerily matter-of-fact suicide note with instructions to submit his manuscript to a list of publishers. Morvern weeps silently and privately over her boyfriend. She delays telling anyone about the death, not even her best friend Lanna(Kathleen McDermott). While a corpse lies frozen on the floor Morvern continues with some semblance of a normal routine: she goes to work, goes to parties, gets drunk etc. Several days go on like this. Is she afraid to acknowledge his death, afraid to let him go? But then Morvern begins to act in a very strange and unpredictable manner. Firstly she disposes of her boyfriend's body by cutting him up and burying him in the countryside. She then erases his name from his novel, replaces it with her own and takes off to Almeria, Spain, where she intends to sell it to a publisher as her own work.

The darkly absurd early image of Christmas tree lights flickering on a still corpse gives us a certain clue as to what kind of movie this will be. It's a devastating opening that succeeds in grabbing the viewer's attention. But what keeps us interested is the peculiar way in which Movern goes about dealing with the death of her boyfriend. You may find yourself shocked not only by the audacity, but more so by the coldness of Morvern's actions. Why does she put her own name on that manuscript? Morvern certainly has no interest in the romance of being an artist. Her reasons for doing such a thing are purely mercenary. Her actions also provoke interesting questions about the nature of her relationship to this man.

This is quite a strange movie about a rather strange woman with a very strange name. Samantha Morton gives an incredible performance, perfectly conveying the enigma that is Morvern Caller. She says little but has a menacing air about her. We don't know what mental activity goes on behind her big eyes and it's unsettling to guess at. At times, as in the beginning of the movie, she seems completely vulnerable and terrified of what the future holds in store for her. More often she appears spookily detached and supremely indifferent to the world around her. She is completely inexplicable and contradictory, and that is what makes her such a fascinating character to observe. It doesn't surprise me that Woody Allen chose Samantha Morton to portray a mute lady in Sweet and Lowdown, as I can't think of any other performer who can express so much without uttering a single word. This is the perfect role to display her talents and it's as good a performance I've ever seen from any actor or actress in recent years.

This is the second movie of Lynne Ramsey, who later went on to direct the acclaimed We Need to Talk about Kevin. She's a very talented director and here she successfully creates an atmosphere of dread and foreboding. She also manages to capture a general feeling of nausea, postponement and depression, particular in the early scenes. She has a strong visual flair and an eye for stark, grotesque imagery. I'm looking forward to seeing more of her work.
½ August 28, 2013
Well made. Specially the parts where Morvern just feels and perceives and experiences the world. Makes slight changes int he characterization of Morvern which, I guess, is the result of the change of time.
May 11, 2013
Confusing and catching. Loved it.
July 26, 2009
Superb with a great soundtrack on Warp Records.
November 28, 2012
Definitivamente mi tipo de pelicula....muy recomendable
July 26, 2012
A 20-something character study featuring enough amazing camera work, and sleight-of-hand plot points to stand out from the rest of the pack. Lynne Ramsay may very well be the most radical female director of her generation.
October 17, 2012
Morvern Callar is a perfectly sound edited film with a simple story that is dark but also light. It is entertaining for the most part and the way the film distracts audiences from the important parts by exaggerating unrealistic and smaller moments of life is indeed quirky and tends to create a slow pacing that is hit or miss for some viewers.
October 9, 2012
dojmljivo atmosferi?no ostvarenje s vjerojatno najboljim soundtrackom.....
½ September 1, 2008
I love Samantha Morton... and this movie was weird and you know how I like weird...A+
½ May 20, 2012
Not a film for everyone as it features very little dialogue. It is a character study about an impoverished, unusual grieving young woman and Samantha Morton is utterly compelling in the title role. Her ability to display such a volatile character in an introverted way is fascinating.

Writer/Director Lynne Ramsay (who followed this up with We Need To Talk About Kevin) has a wonderful eye for direction. The shot selection and cinematography is artistic and intimate. I felt like a fly on the wall or an ant on the dirt watching this woman's somewhat awkward life. The use of music is also a big plus for the film, in its selection and the varying volume and timing used to create an appropriate atmosphere.

So although there are many positives, the negative is that the actual narrative of the film is nowhere near as successful as the central performance, the artistic direction and the general atmosphere and mood created.
½ May 19, 2012
Not a film for everyone as it features very little dialogue. It is a character study about an impoverished, unusual grieving young woman and Samantha Morton is utterly compelling in the title role. Her ability to display such a volatile character in an introverted way is fascinating.

Writer/Director Lynne Ramsay (who followed this up with We Need To Talk About Kevin) has a wonderful eye for direction. The shot selection and cinematography is artistic and intimate. I felt like a fly on the wall or an ant on the dirt watching this woman's somewhat awkward life. The use of music is also a big plus for the film, in its selection and the varying volume and timing used to create an appropriate atmosphere.

So although there are many positives, the negative is that the actual narrative of the film is nowhere near as successful as the central performance, the artistic direction and the general atmosphere and mood created.
Super Reviewer
April 4, 2012
I really liked watching this film, Lynne Ramsey is a great film-maker. Unfortunately, half the time watching this film I spent admiring the direction rather than the narrative.
½ January 19, 2012
It's lack Of Dialogue does not stop Morvern Caller from telling an interesting visual story.
January 1, 2012
Hey, there's so much I DON'T know; surprising to you, I'm sure. This is a book/movie I've never heard of before. My friend posted a Youtube vid of a trailer.
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