Morvern Callar (2002) Film. Director : Lynne Ramsay

Scottish supermarket shelf-filler Morvern Callar (Samantha Morton) uses her boyfriend’s inheritance after his suicide to escape from her boring life. Emotionally intense road movie by the director of the prize-winning Ratcatcher.

Making a film version of the cult novel Morvern Callar (written in the first person singular) needed a director with guts and vision. Lynne Ramsay stayed close to the book and made a very intense road movie with traces of black comedy and psychological horror. When the 21-year-old Morvern Callar (another impressive role by Samantha Morton) wakes up on Christmas Day, she finds her boyfriend with his wrists slashed on the kitchen floor. In this oppressive opening scene, the only sound is the crackling of the Christmas tree lights. Her boyfriend leaves Morvern a Walkman with a cassette compilation, a well-padded bank account and a book he wrote on a floppy disk – with an address list of publishers. Morvern grasps her opportunity, almost without emotion. To flee her dead-end existence in the Scottish town of Oban and her job filling supermarket shelves, she sends the book under her own name to the publishers. In the meantime, the action moves from the grey skies of Scotland to Spain, where Morvern has a wild holiday full of sex and drugs with her best friend Lanna. The powerful soundtrack, with music by the Velvet Underground among others, comes from her boyfriend’s Walkman that Morvern listens to throughout. –IFFR

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