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Morvern Callar (2002)

R | | Drama | 1 November 2002 (UK)
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After her beloved husband's suicide, a mourning supermarket worker and her best friend hit the road in Scotland, but find that grief is something that you can't run away from forever.

Director:

Lynne Ramsay

Writers:

Lynne Ramsay (screenplay by), Liana Dognini (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
10 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Sci-Fi

An outer-space story influenced by Moby-Dick.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Samantha Morton ... Morvern Callar
Kathleen McDermott Kathleen McDermott ... Lanna
Paul Popplewell ... Cat in the Hat
Ruby Milton Ruby Milton ... Couris Jean
Dolly Wells ... Susan
Dan Cadan ... Dazzer
Carolyn Calder Carolyn Calder ... Sheila Tequila
Raife Patrick Burchell Raife Patrick Burchell ... Boy in Room 1022
Steve Cardwell Steve Cardwell ... Welcoming Courier
Bryan Dick ... Guy with Hat's Mate
El Carrette El Carrette ... Gypsy Taxi Driver
Andrew Flanagan Andrew Flanagan ... Overdose
Des Hamilton ... Him
Mette Karlsvik Mette Karlsvik ... Sick Girl / Bikini Girl
Andrew Knowles Andrew Knowles ... Green Boy #1
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Storyline

Following her boyfriend's suicide, supermarket clerk Morvern Callar passes off his unpublished novel as her own. With the money her boyfriend left for his funeral, she leaves Scotland for Ibiza where she travels with her closest friend. The journey prompts a series of internal and external transformations for Morvern-- ones which bring to light her experiences of grief, memory, freedom, and desire. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, nudity, language and some disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Company Pictures | Warp [UK]

Country:

UK | Canada

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

1 November 2002 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Le voyage de Morvern Callar See more »

Filming Locations:

Almería, Andalucía, Spain See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£82,014 (United Kingdom), 3 November 2002, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,836, 22 December 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$267,194, 24 August 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Morvern Callar was the debut novel by Scottish author Alan Warner, first published in 1995. See more »

Goofs

The shot of the railway station at the end of the film shows tracks with a third live rail. Although never mentioned by name, Morvern lives in Oban, where the railway station is served only by diesel-powered trains - in fact, no railway lines in Scotland use a third live rail as a power source. See more »

Quotes

Morvern Callar: Fuck work Lana, we can go anywhere you like.
Lanna: I'm happy here.
Morvern Callar: Are ya?
Lanna: Yeah, everyone I know is here. There's nothing wrong with here. It's the same crapness everywhere, so stop dreaming.
See more »

Connections

References Ms .45 (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Hold of Death
Written by Edmund Brooks
Performed by Lee 'Scratch' Perry (as Lee "Scratch" Perry)
Courtesy of Creole Music Ltd
By Arrangement with Creole Records Ltd
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User Reviews

 
A work of art, a novel and a painting come to life.
2 November 2002 | by azeemakSee all my reviews

After all the hype that greeted Lynne Ramsay's first film, Ratcatcher, which I didn't see, I approached this with caution. The presence of Samantha Morton was my guarantee that it would at least be watchable, as she's never yet put a foot wrong on screen. And boy was my faith rewarded! It's a long time since I've emerged from a cinema so entranced, and then started itching to see the film again just a few hours later.

Samantha Morton's performance is truly extraordinary, bringing to life this mysterious, inscrutable woman who is at the same time very alive and in-your-face, not out of place getting smashed at a party, yet seeming like an alien as she wanders around listening to her walkman with a dazed 1000 yard stare. I was amazed to read that Kathleen McDermott, who plays her best friend, is a non-professional; it says a lot for her performance that she holds her own opposite such a stellar talent - and also says a lot for the naturalism and generosity of Morton's performance.

Some critics have been much exercised by the implausibilities in the plot (around the fate of her boyfriend's body and the dealings with the publisher, for example). I don't care about all that stuff! This film is as far away from gritty realism as it's possible to get. Go with the flow and soak up the atmosphere is my advice.

You may read that this film is beautifully photographed, that every shot is a small work of art, exquisitely composed and framed. If not, you've just read it from me. That's all very well, of course - they say the same things about Peter Greenaway, who as far as I'm concerned would have been burnt at the stake in a more civilised age. The difference here is the warmth and seeming spontaneity of Lynne Ramsay's work. I didn't hear a voice shouting "look at me, aren't I beautifully filmed??". She doesn't tell us, she just shows us, revealing a gift for finding beauty in the mundane.

The other stroke of genius in this film is the soundtrack - and I don't just mean the music, although that is brilliantly chosen, revealing a trace of gallows humour in the film's grisliest scene; no, just the use of sound, the way we can hear everything, even the cockroach scuttling along the hotel room floor; and the way some of the conversations fade in from a distance, but in such a way that we can still just about hear what is being said.

For once, the hype is justified: Lynne Ramsay is the real deal, and Samantha Morton deserves another Oscar nomination for this breathtaking performance. Unreservedly recommended. So there.


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