The Scottish film Morvern Callar (2002), Lynn Ramsay's second feature, starts off with a touchingly morbid sequence of Morvern (Samantha Morton) caressing the dead body of her suicided boyfriend. There will follow a series of pitiable tableaus as she opens their Christmas presents with only the corpse for company & just wallows in a glowering, bewildered grief.
She gets dressed up rather punky-gothy & goes clubbing & boozing & partying past dawn. When someone asks where her boyfriend's at, she says only, "Home. In the kitchen."
After a few days the corpse is getting rank, so Morvern saws him into small pieces & with only a small garden trowel buries him here & there on the countryside. He had a bank account for which she knew the pass number, so she decides to take a great vacation to Spain, paying the way of her best friend Lanna (Kathleen McDermott).
He also left behind a novel which in his suicide note he claimed, "I wrote it for you." So she put her name on it as author & sent it off as a submission to a major publishing house where, remarkably enough, it sells for a great deal of money indeed.
Clearly Movern has no societal integrity, but if all this is her method of grieving, she must have at least an amoral personal integrity since she does whatever she wants & can, & that's that.
It's a very striking film at the start, wearing a bit thin in the middle as Morvern & Lanna adventure around Spain, then gains strength again in the last few minutes. The character of Morvern certainly doesn't respond the way anyone else would, but she's undeniably interesting, & Samantha Morton's photogenic face carries the film even through the slow bits.
It's also a fine antidote to the more typical sorts of Christmas movies.
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