Anchored by a quietly engrossing, wholly unaffected performance by the astonishing Samantha Morton ("Minority Report," "Sweet and Lowdown") as a young Scottish woman in shock over her boyfriend's suicide, "Morvern Callar" is a subdued film of abstract psychological detail.
The opening shot of Morton's pensive, pretty, everygirl face bathed in the blinking, buzzing glow of Christmas tree lights has a startling effect as it pulls back to reveal that she's lying on the floor of her apartment beside the body of her lover -- who left her only his ATM card and a note on his computer that begins "Sorry Morvern. Don't ask why. It just felt like the right thing to do."
Extraordinary in its initial simplicity, the film doesn't move outside this sparse, low-rent flat for most of the first reel, as the trauma-detached Morvern (Morton) runs her hands over the cold body trying to connect with her emotions as the truth of what has happened sinks into her soul. She opens her Christmas presents with silent introspection, examining the snaps on a new leather jacket the boyfriend bought her as if she knows that the minutiae of this moment will be burned in her memory forever.
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