Morvern Callar A movie's refusal to judge bad behavior can be a subtle way of trumping the audience -- a passive-aggressive form of one-upmanship. The title character… Morvern Callar A movie's refusal to judge bad behavior can be a subtle way of trumping the audience -- a passive-aggressive form of one-upmanship. The title character… 2002-12-20 Unrated PT97M Drama Samantha Morton Raife Patrick Burchell Dan Cadan Kathleen McDermott Cowboy Pictures
Review

Morvern Callar (2002)

MPAA Rating: Unrated
Morvern Callar | RING AROUND THE 'CALLAR' Morton hits the road in ''Morvern''
RING AROUND THE 'CALLAR' Morton hits the road in ''Morvern''
EW's GRADE
B-

Details Limited Release: Dec 20, 2002; Rated: Unrated; Length: 97 Minutes; Genre: Drama; With: Samantha Morton; Distributor: Cowboy Pictures

A movie's refusal to judge bad behavior can be a subtle way of trumping the audience -- a passive-aggressive form of one-upmanship. The title character of Morvern Callar is a disaffected Scottish supermarket stacker, played by Samantha Morton (returning, after ''Minority Report,'' to her neorealist funk), who wakes up one Christmas morning to learn that her boyfriend has killed himself. Rather than report the suicide, she gets rid of his body, grabs his cash card, places her name on the manuscript of his novel, and heads for a hotel in sunny Spain.

The director, Lynne Ramsey, works in the tony austere style of Catherine Breillat and Claire Denis. She creates a mood of swank amorality, glorifying Morvern without ever quite penetrating her blank facade, the void filled only by a great soundtrack and the oblique suggestion that getting away with it is a punkette's prerogative in a man's cruel world.

Originally posted Jan 10, 2003 Published in issue #691 Jan 17, 2003 Order article reprints