09/16/2014  
Found on DVD Sep 23Beyond Borders & Faces of Israel on DVD in SeptemberAfter on DVD Sep 23Transformers: Age of Extinction on DVD & Blu-ray Sep 30The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Seventh SeasonThe Fed Up Back-to-School Challenge - No Sugar for 10 DaysSnowpiercer on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 21

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Robin Thicke was "high on Vicodin and alcohol" while re...
TV review: 'The View' adds new faces, keeps old look...
Found on DVD Sep 23...
Box Office Charts From Yahoo! Movies Sep 11 - 13...
Beyond Borders & Faces of Israel on DVD in September...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Palm Pictures presents
Morvern Callar (2002)

Lanna: I'm happy here.
Morvern: Are ya?
Lanna: Yeah. Everyone I know is here. There's nothing wrong with here. Morvern, it's just the same crap as everywhere, so stop dreaming.

- Samantha Norton, Kathleen McDermott

Review By: Robert Edwards  
Published: June 03, 2004

Stars: Samantha Morton, Kathleen McDermott, Raife Patrick Burchell
Director: Lynne Ramsay

MPAA Rating: R for sexuality, nudity, language, and some disturbing images.
Run Time: 01h:37m:22s
Release Date: December 16, 2003
UPC: 031398107545
Genre: drama


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A BBA C

DVD Review

Morvern Callar is virtually a cipher. She's as unaffected by the sudden inexplicable suicide of her boyfriend as she is by the sight of a bug crawling under a door. She drifts through life, barely reacting to the events that surround her, and when she does react, her actions have little or no connection to their motivating causes. Freed from her mundane working class existence by an unexpected financial windfall, she spends the money on a vacation in Spain, yet is seemingly just as content to return home when the money runs out. And yet, Morvern is a fascinating character, fascinating in her unpredictability and freedom. Unencumbered by any overarching conception of what her life should be like, she takes things as she goes, remaining open to new experiences, and whatever life gives her.

Morvern Callar is based on a novel of the same name by Alan Warner, which received a good deal of critical praise when it was released. The book consists primarily of lengthy descriptions of Morvern's day-to-day life, whether going out with her friends to the pub, the nonsensical get-acquainted activities that open her vacation in Spain, or her many drug-fuelled nights at dance clubs and raves. There is a bit of a plot here (she claims credit for a novel that her deceased boyfriend has written, and sends it off to be published), but the plot's really a MacGuffin. For Hitchcock, the MacGuffin was an arbitrary element (government secrets, hidden uranium) that provided the motivation for the plot, but in the case of Morvern Callar, the plot's the MacGuffin, around which Warner spins a fairly convincing depiction of a young girl's life.

The film is a surprisingly faithful adaptation of what was considered to be an essentially unfilmable book, but it necessarily combines some of the book's events, and in doing so, suffers a bit. The repetition of events in Morvern's life gives the book a sort of circularity, echoing the fact that she is essentially unchanged (and unchangeable) by these events, but by combining them, the film has a more linear character arc, implying that she may change and grow.

Lynne Ramsey is a strongly visual director, although she wisely tones down her style a bit, compared with her first feature Ratcatcher. Color, focus, framing and camera angle are all manipulated. Ramsey frequently breaks the image, for example focusing on parts of a body rather than the whole, and refuses to create a well-defined, easily understandable space. Time is also shattered, sequences often consisting of brief shots that combine in an inconsistent time scale. Morvern herself can't really said to be a whole person in any psychological sense, and Ramsey's style wonderfully mirrors her fractured nature.

In such a character-driven film, it would be a disaster if the acting were less than stellar, and thankfully that isn't the case. Samantha Morton (who received an Oscar nomination for her role in In America) is simply outstanding as the aimless Morvern, in a completely convincing and extremely naturalistic performance. First-time actress Kathleen McDermott is almost as good as Morvern's best friend Lanna. The musical obsessions of Morvern and her deceased boyfriend are given their equivalents on the great soundtrack, which contains music by Can, Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Stereolab, and others.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: B

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The anamorphic transfer is quite good, with strong colors and good black levels, although there isn't much shadow detail. Ramsey manipulates the color scheme quite a bit, but the skin tones are realistic when they're meant to be. There are very minor compression artifacts and a bit of edge enhancement. Darker scenes are often slightly grainy.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The soundtrack is outstanding. Great care has been taking in its mixing, and it's filled with incidental and background noises, creating a very realistic sound environment. When appropriate, the 5.1 track has a lot of activity in the surrounds, and the subwoofer kicks in during the club sequences. The two-channel mix is understandably less involving. Given the relatively low-budget nature of the film, it's a pleasant surprise to hear a soundtrack this great.

Audio Transfer Grade: A

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 18 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Work of Director Spike Jonze, The Work of Director Michel Gondry, The Work of Director Chris Cunningham, Demonlover, Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator, The Revenge of the Robots
Weblink/DVD-ROM Material
Packaging: Keep Case
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Printed insert with chapter listing and film credits
Extras Review: The nonanamorphic trailer looks bad, blurry and with yellowish faded color, and compression artifacts abound. There are three short (less than two minute) interviews with Morton, McDermott and Ramsey, where they discuss the casting process, the characters, chemistry between the actresses and their performances. Each interview is cut into segments, introduced by unnecessary titles, and the segments end abruptly. The disc jacket lists "Behind the Scenes Bonus Footage," which apparently refers to these interviews.

There are also previews for six of Palm Pictures' other releases, including their excellent The Work of Director series of discs featuring the work of Spike Jonze, Chris Cunningham, and Michel Gondry. Annoyingly, the previews can't be chosen from a menu, but rather play sequentially.

Extras Grade: C

 

Final Comments

Lynn Ramsey's award-winning second feature is an impressive and highly enjoyable depiction of an aimless girl's life. The transfer is good, and despite the less-than-impressive extras, Morvern Callar is well worth a look.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, the view, abc, rosie o'donnell, nicolle wallace, rosie perez, kristen chenoweth, whoopi goldberg, music, robin thick, vicodin, alcohol, blurred lines, paula patton, paula, horror, movies, box office, drama, foreign, movie, dolphin tale 2, harry connick jr., winter, nathan gamble, cozi zuehlsdorff, kris kristofferson, ashley judd, morgan freeman, saturday night live, weekend update, michael che, cecily strong, colin jost, sasheer zamata, action, u2, songs of innocence, worldwide giveaway, itunes store, bono, joey ramone, raised by wolves, comedy, documentary, series, sons of anarchy, charlie hunnam, danny trejo, theo rossi, katey sagal, nicki minaj, new york fashion, alexander wang, anaconda, i saw the light, hank williams, tom hiddleston, shelton hank williams iii, move it on over, wheatland music festival, adventure, marvel, guardians of the galaxy, sci-fi, fantasy, superheros, celebrity, joan rivers, the tonight show, johnny carson, atlantic city, edgar rosenberg, 2010 documentary, joan rivers: piece of work, daytime talk, hack attack, rupert murdoch, news of the world, good night and good luck, sony pictures entertainment, reality, dancing with the stars, janel parrish, jonathan bennett, sadie robertson, lea thompson, lolo jones, zoe saldano, rocket racoon, bradley cooper, chris pratt, vin diesel, biography, history

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact