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Morvern Callar is the story of a personal journey in which a young woman is able to take advantage of some unusual circumstances to leave her mundane life behind. The DVD from Palm Pictures has few extras, but is worth a look for the movie and the performance of the lead actress.

Rebirth

Morton is always alone in a room, and she doesn't mind
Morton is always alone in a room, and she doesn’t mind

The movie opens with Morvern (Samantha Morton) tenderly embracing her lover in front of a rentlessly blinking Christmas tree. As the camera moves back, we see that her boyfriend has killed himself. Aside from a suicide note that doesn’t explain much, he’s left Morvern some Christmas gifts, money for a funeral and his unpublished novel, things that will come in handy as Morvern sheds the excess baggage in her life.

In the meantime, Morvern’s life goes on. She goes out to a party with her best friend, Lana (Kathleen McDermott). When people ask about the boyfriend, Morvern is vague. How she deals with his death moves the plot in unexpected ways and turns a somber tale into an engaging story.

The key to the movie is Morton’s performance. She conveys a person who is always alone in a crowded room and doesn’t mind. Morvern seldom shows much emotion, and yet we can almost tell what she’s thinking. By the movie’s end, Morton has given us a glimpse into her character’s depths.

The DVD

The only extra features are a theatrical trailer for the movie and brief interviews with Morton, McDermott and Ramsey. The most interesting part is Morton talking about getting into her character, although her comments, like those of the other women, are all too brief.

Both the picture and sound were very good. Picture quality particularly stood out in some of the scenes that called for darkness, due both to cinematographer Alwin H. Kuchler and to the DVD’s impeccable transfer.