Take This Waltz
Autumn 2012 Features series
September 23, 2012 at 7:00pm
September 23, 2012 at 4:00pm
Directed by Sarah Polley
Screenplay by Sarah Polley
Starring Sarah Silverman, Seth Rogen and Michelle Williams
Rated 18A ·
Take This Waltz
When Margot (Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn), 28, meets Daniel (Luke Kirby), their chemistry is intense and immediate. But Margot suppresses her sudden attraction; she is happily married to Lou (Seth Rogen), a cookbook writer. When Margot learns that Daniel lives across the street from them, the certainty about her domestic life shatters. She and Daniel steal moments throughout the steaming Toronto summer, their eroticism heightened by their restraint. Swelteringly hot, bright and colorful like a bowl of fruit, Take This Waltz leads us, laughing, through the familiar, but uncharted question of what long-term relationships do to love, sex, and our images of ourselves.
Take This Waltz is the second feature film from writer/director Sarah Polley, based on her screenplay, which made the coveted Black List in 2009. Whereas Polley’s feature film directorial debut, Away From Her, was the tender story of a couple in the winter of their married life, Take This Waltz follows a younger couple, married for only a few years, moving from the springtime of their romance, settling into what should be a warm, loving life together. The title of the film comes from the Leonard Cohen song of the same name.
Set in Polley’s hometown of Toronto, in many respects Take This Waltz is a coming of age movie about a woman in her late 20s, for whom the veil concealing the reality of romance and relationships truly falls away, revealing an emptiness that cries out to be addressed. “For women like Margot, and most women I know in their 30s,” says Polley, “there is a point when they realize the ‘happily ever after’ fairytale relationships they were told about as a children are not quite true. If you’re lucky, there is a great love, but apart from that, how do you know if a relationship is ‘wrong’ or if needing/wanting/desire is a function of life being complicated? It’s not simple. You may be in a relationship where you are mostly happy, but also sad or angry – and nothing prepares us for that.”
“The wounding power of love, its essential asymmetry and unfairness, permeates Take This Waltz. The one thing you know for sure is that someone – maybe everyone – is going to get hurt. And yet the film is neither depressing nor melodramatic. It is full of music, color and warmth, some of it supplied by a supporting cast that most notably includes Sarah Silverman as Lou’s wise and troubled sister Geraldine. The story takes its time unfolding and pauses to linger over funny, odd and touching details. The camera (Luc Montpellier is the director of photography) is as sensitive as Margot herself to nuances of feeling and perception. (…) Ms. Polley’s chief concern … is that imperfection is all anyone ever learns from love.” (A.O. Scott, The New York Times)