Movie Spotlight | Spotlight | Indy Week
Pin It

Movie Spotlight 

Morvern Callar

Scottish director Lynne Ramsey's feature debut Ratcatcher was more than ample fulfillment of the promise she'd displayed with two different prize-winning shorts at the Cannes film festival. Released in 1999, Ratcatcher was an empathetic, heartfelt portrait of a working-class neighborhood in Glasgow, with stellar and fearless performances from a cast of amateurs. Violence and squalor exist side by side with poetry and rough-edged love in Ramsey's world.

Still only in her early 30s, Ramsey followed Ratcatcher with Morvern Callar. This film was released late last year and is getting its belated Triangle release this weekend at the Varsity in Chapel Hill. Based on a novel by Alan Warner, this movie follows a few months in the life of the eponymous character, a druggy rave chick (that name conjures up images of a goth bar that could be called Morticia's Cavern).

One dreary morning during Christmas season, Morvern wakes up and finds her boyfriend lying dead next to her. Suicide.

The relatively wealthy lad bequeaths her his ATM card and a very hip mix tape which becomes the film's soundtrack. He also leaves his unpublished novel, which he has helpfully left open on the computer. "I wrote it for you," his suicide note reads. Taking the words quite literally, Morvern substitutes her name for his and sends it off to publishers. Meanwhile, she and her best friend Lanna empty out his bank account and take a holiday in Spain.

Morvern Callar is not a plot-driven film. Instead, we're invited to contemplate the spiritual aridity of modern youth, kids who have the wherewithal to throw on backpacks and nose around the planet in search of better kicks. The Spanish sequences are color-drunk--the cinematography is by Ramsey crony Alwin Kuchler--and at times super-saturated. Still, the end result is a little thin, but Samantha Morton gives an always riveting, if rarely likable, performance in the lead role.

It's probable that Morvern Callar will be a minor film in the canon of the talented Ramsey, but her next film will have a considerably higher profile: the adaptation of Alice Sebold's Lovely Bones.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Spotlight

  • Paul Newman, 1925-2008

    Paul Newman, 1925-2008

    A hero we could believe in
    • Oct 3, 2008
  • Remembering director Sydney Pollack, and his visit to Durham

    Remembering director Sydney Pollack, and his visit to Durham

    Pollack's death Monday, May 26, at age 73 represents the passing of a true film raconteur and accomplished director.
    • May 27, 2008
  • <i>Om Shanti Om</i>

    Om Shanti Om

    Om Shanti Om delivers the glitter and glamour, the comedy and thrills, religion and the supernatural, mother love, high fashion and eye-popping  production numbers in proper masala fashion.
    • Nov 14, 2007
  • More »


Twitter Activity

Comments

I find this rather interesting ..My name is Gary E.Queen .I am a grand son of Thomas H. Queen,Descendant ,Of …

by Gary E. Queen on The Queen Family (Spotlight)

"He was the picture of a man comfortable in his own skin and celebrity." I never met Pollack, but I …

by rwcass on Remembering director Sydney Pollack, and his visit to Durham (Spotlight)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Most Recent Comments

I find this rather interesting ..My name is Gary E.Queen .I am a grand son of Thomas H. Queen,Descendant ,Of …

by Gary E. Queen on The Queen Family (Spotlight)

"He was the picture of a man comfortable in his own skin and celebrity." I never met Pollack, but I …

by rwcass on Remembering director Sydney Pollack, and his visit to Durham (Spotlight)

This may be Don Cheadle's masterpiece. The way he stays in character throughout the entire performance is Oscar-worthy. Go see …

by lovinit on Talk to me (Spotlight)

Thanks Godfrey. I sometimes disagree strongly with you (like on The Queen, which I think you wildly misjudged and misunderstood), …

by Tim on Robert Altman, 1925-2006, consummate contrarian (Spotlight)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation