12/07/2016  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

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, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

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