Morvern Callar (film)

Morvern Callar
Directed by Lynne Ramsay
Screenplay by
  • Liana Dognini
  • Lynne Ramsay
Based on Morvern Callar
by Alan Warner
Produced by
Cinematography Alwin H. Küchler
Edited by Lucia Zucchetti
Distributed by
Release date
  • May 2002 (2002-05) (Cannes)
  • 1 November 2002 (2002-11-01) (United Kingdom)
Running time
97 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office $729,877 (worldwide)

Morvern Callar is a 2002 British psychological drama film directed by Lynne Ramsay and starring Samantha Morton as the titular character. The screenplay, co-written by Ramsay and Liana Dognini, was based on the 1995 novel of the same name by Alan Warner. The film received positive reviews from critics.


Morvern Callar (Samantha Morton) is a young woman in a small port town in Scotland who works at a supermarket. She wakes on Christmas morning to discover that her boyfriend has killed himself, leaving a suicide note, a mix tape, Christmas presents, and the manuscript of his unpublished novel behind. His novel is dedicated to her, and Morvern decides to erase his name from the manuscript and replace it with her own before sending it to the publisher recommended in his suicide note. Despite him having left her money to arrange a funeral, Morvern tells her best friend and co-worker Lanna (Kathleen McDermott) that her boyfriend has left her and moved abroad. After several days, Morvern cuts up his body and buries it in the mountains, and arranges a holiday to Almería, Spain with Lanna, who shortly before departure reveals to Morvern that she had slept with her boyfriend previously. As they go out and party she feels she's in a different mood to Lanna and leaves her; she meets a man in the hotel whose mother has recently died and has sex with him. Shortly afterwards Morvern convinces Lanna to travel with her to another town, where they get lost and spent the night in a field. Lanna, exasperated with Morvern, leaves her. Morvern meets with publishers who have travelled to Spain with hopes of getting the rights to the manuscript. Morvern continues to pretend she wrote the novel and accepts an £100, 000 advance. Back in Scotland, Morvern attempts to convince Lanna to leave with her, but Lanna refuses, stating her life is in Scotland and warning Morvern that everywhere else is just as bad. Morvern collects her suitcase and goes to the railway station, and is last seen in a nightclub, listening to "Dedicated to the One I Love" from the mixtape her boyfriend left for her.


Critical reception

Morvern Callar received positive reviews from critics. It holds a rating of 78/100 on Metacritic,[1] and an 84% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 82 reviews, with an average score of 7.1/10. The critical consensus stating "Morton quietly makes this quirky, enigmatic mood piece a compelling watch."[2] At the 2002 British Independent Film Awards, the film received seven nominations, including Best Director for Ramsey, Best Screenplay for Ramsey and Dognini, and Most Promising Newcomer for McDermott; Morton won the award for Best Actress.[3] At the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, Morvern Callar premiered during the Directors' Fortnight, where it was awarded the Award of the Youth for Best Foreign Film.[4] Additionally, McDermott was awarded the Best Actress Award at the 2002 BAFTA Scotland Awards.


  1. Can - "I Want More"
  2. Aphex Twin - "Goon Gumpas"
  3. Boards Of Canada - "Everything You Do Is A Balloon"
  4. Can - "Spoon"
  5. Stereolab - "Blue Milk" (Edit)
  6. The Velvet Underground - "I'm Sticking With You"
  7. Broadcast - "You Can Fall"
  8. Gamelan - "Drumming"
  9. Holger Czukay - "Cool In The Pool"
  10. Lee "Scratch" Perry - "Hold Of Death"
  11. Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood - "Some Velvet Morning"
  12. Ween - "Japanese Cowboy"
  13. Holger Czukay - "Fragrance"
  14. Aphex Twin - "Nannou"
  15. Taraf de Haïdouks - "Cînd eram la '48"


  1. ^ "Morvern Callar". Metacritic. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Morvern Callar (2002)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  3. ^ "Winners Nominations · BIFA · British Independent Film Awards". BIFA · British Independent Film Awards. 24 October 2002. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  4. ^ "Ecran Noir / Festival de Cannes 2002/ Palmarès". Retrieved 13 February 2021.

External links