Take This Waltz
dir-scr Sarah Polley
prd Susan Cavan, Sarah Polley
with Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Luke Kirby, Sarah Silverman, Jennifer Podemski, Diane D'Aquila, Graham Abbey, Vanessa Coelho, Damien Atkins, Aaron Abrams, Dylan Bell, Albert Howell
release Can Sep.11 tff, US 29.Jun.12,
UK 17.Aug.12
11/Canada 1h56
Take This Waltz
Round and round: Kirby and Williams

williams rogen silverman
R E V I E W    B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
Take This Waltz After the remarkable Away From Her, actress-turned-filmmaker Polley is back with another bracingly observant drama, this time exploring the point where relationships cease to be something new. The film is a bit indulgent and downbeat, but it speaks so eloquently that we can't help but be moved.

In Toronto, Margot (Williams) is happily married to Lou (Rogen), but she feels that their relationship is only expressed through humour and that work interests divide them. So it's not surprising that, after a chance encounter with neighbour Daniel (Kirby), Margot starts to consider straying from her marriage. She holds Daniel at arm's length, but is intrigued by everything that's new about him, including his more adult way of talking about sex and relationships. Is taking this leap scarier than waiting around for her marriage to come back to life?

The title comes from the Leonard Cohen song, which plays a key role in a climactic sequence. Indeed, Margot's relationships with both Lou and Daniel are a series of dance steps, although the film is rather a lot more complicated. Told finely from Margot's perspective, the story is an involving exploration of a flawed, human response to real feelings. We breath a sigh of relief every time Margot makes the correct decision, even as what's right or wrong shifts continually.

Williams gives another astoundingly transparent performance as Margot, letting us into her soul to experience her joy and doubt, the thrill of attraction and the warmth of real love. Opposite her, Rogen seems almost like a cypher, which of course is how Margot has begun to see him, while Kirby exudes mystery and sexuality. And Silverman is terrific in a rare dramatic role as Lou's sister, who distills the film's themes in two key scenes.

Because of its intense intimacy, the film is sometimes overpoweringly emotional. It also drags as Margot waffles about what she's going to do. But this allows Polley to delve deeper into the issues and feelings, most remarkably in two wonderfully swirling scenes: on a funfair ride and in a loft flat. The story's coda is perhaps unnecessary, as the emotional punch has already landed, but the film taps into something that resonates powerfully enough to makes us see our relationships differently.

cert 15 themes, language, nudity, sexuality 22.May.12

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© 2012 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall