Morvern Callar

Poster for Morvern Callar

Spring 2004 Edge series

Sunday, February 29, 2004 at 7:00pm

Empire Theatres, New Minas, NS

Directed by


Rated NR · 1h 37m
United Kingdom

As unconventional as its title, Scottish director Lynne Ramsay’s follow-up to her immensely acclaimed debut feature, Ratcatcher, is a dark, quirky road movie that constantly defies expectation. Morvern Callar, which was presented at the Toronto International Film Festival, boasts another incredibly impressive performance by rising young star and Oscar nominee Samantha Morton (Minority Report, In America), who completely immerses herself in the psyche of this lost but searching soul. Morvern Callar (Morton) is a 21-year-old supermarket employee who wakes up on Christmas morning to discover that her boyfriend has committed suicide on the kitchen floor. He has left only a suicide note on the computer along with a completed manuscript for a novel he has asked her to send to a publisher. In an apparent state of shock verging on catatonia, she deletes his name from the manuscript, inserts her own and uses the money he has put aside for his burial to take herself and her best friend Lanna (the remarkably natural Kathleen McDermott) on a resort holiday to southern Spain. And thus, a remarkable odyssey of self-discovery begins. This intriguing tale of alienation, based on the cult novel by Alan Warner and skillfully adapted by Ramsay and writing partner Liana Dognini, also gets tremendous punch from its stunningly effective, immensely eclectic soundtrack, which features Stereolab, Boards of Canada, and an irreplaceable track by the Velvet Underground that perfectly draws us into Morvern’s personal universe. Ramsay, who is tactile and sensual with the camera and once again proves she is a master of establishing atmosphere and mood, sweeps the audience into an intoxicating vortex of discovery from the shock of the opening scene to the unexpected finale.

“A work of astonishing delicacy and force.” – Stephanie Zacharek,

“Ramsay, as in Ratcatcher, remains a filmmaker with an acid viewpoint and a real gift for teasing chilly poetry out of lives and settings that might otherwise seem drab and sordid.” – Michael Wilmington, The Chicago Tribune

“A mesmerizing conundrum of a suspended life in perpetual motion.” – Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Ramsay and Morton fill this character study with poetic force and buoyant feeling.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone