Morvern Callar

Critics Consensus

Morton quietly makes this quirky, enigmatic mood piece a compelling watch.

84%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 82

74%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,885

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Movie Info

When her boyfriend commits suicide, unambitious Glasgow clerk Morvern Callar (Samantha Morton) invents various stories to explain his absence. After several days, she chops up and buries the body. She then finds a novel he completed before killing himself and sends it to several publishing houses as her own work. When the book is bought, Morvern uses her first payment to take a Spanish vacation with her best friend, Lana (Kathleen McDermott), which turns out to be a surprising emotional journey.

Cast & Crew

Samantha Morton
Morvern Callar
Carolyn Calder
Sheila Tequila
Jim Wilson
Tom Boddington
Ruby Milton
Couris Jean
Alan Warner
Writer (Novel)
Leonard Crooks
Executive Producer
Andras Hamori
Executive Producer
Barbara McKissack
Executive Producer
Seaton McLean
Executive Producer
David M. Thompson
Executive Producer
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News & Interviews for Morvern Callar

Critic Reviews for Morvern Callar

Audience Reviews for Morvern Callar

  • Jan 04, 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, <i>Morvern Callar</i> (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 <i>Ratcatcher</i> (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
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 11, 2012
    Soooooo slooooooow....
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Apr 04, 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.
    Hassan V Super Reviewer
  • Mar 27, 2010
    "Morvern Callar," the second feature film from British writer/director Lynne Ramsay (after 1999's heart-breaking and unfairly overlooked "Ratcatcher"), is an enigmatic film with almost no dialogue. It tells the story of a twenty-something supermarket clerk (played by the always intriguing Samantha Morton) who skates along the surfaces of life, going from party to party. Ramsay's artistic goals are hard to pinpoint, but one of them here seems to be a fairly scathing indictment of 1990s British youth culture. Morton's character, named Morvern Callar, is a girl from a lower-middle-class background living in a small town in Scotland. She has a pleasant demeanor but little to say. She only hangs around with people her age, whose favorite pastime is all-night raves where drugs and alcohol flow liberally. Let's just say that reading books is the last thing on the minds of these 21-year-olds. Their greatest happiness is a feeling of oblivion. Ramsay may not like ravers very much, but she certainly gets them. The depiction of aimless youth is better here than I've probably seen anywhere. The problem is that it doesn't make for very compelling viewing. Boring people don't often make arresting protagonists. Ramsay also doesn't push her agenda with much intensity. She starts to seem as bored with the film as the characters are bored with life. I like the basic idea of the project very much, and there is a haunting quality to the filmmaking, just like there was with Ramsay's previous film, "Ratcatcher." But Ramsay got stalled in the story development, never fully baking her ideas. Thus "Callar" has a sketchy, fragmentary quality to it that isn't very compelling. There is one story thread that tightens up substantially at the tail end of the film involving a spectacular attempt at plagiarism and a dead boyfriend. The film would have been stronger had Ramsay focused on this more. She seemed determined to drain the movie of as much story as possible, when there were several threads begging for development. There's no mistaking, however, that Lynne Ramsay is a talented, original, and genuinely artistic filmmaker. Even a weaker piece of work from her has more value in it than the mountain of prefabricated entertainment product being churned out in America. Cinephiles the world over owe it to themselves to cross paths with Ramsay's work. I'm very disappointed that she's had trouble getting a third film together. I wait with bated breath for her return to filmmaking!
    William D Super Reviewer

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