If you ever wanted to see Seth Rogen in a serious movie... If you ever wanted to see Michelle Williams in yet another emotional drama... If you ever wanted to see full frontal nudity from Sarah Silverman... there's Take This Waltz, the second full-length feature from Sarah Polley. At times cute, others moving, Take This Waltz is a mesmerizing little movie. I just wish I could remember how it ended.
Williams plays Margot, a woman who meets a charming and funny man on an airplane. Daniel (Luke Kirby) is handsome and they have instant chemistry together. Unfortunately, she's married. And Daniel is her next-door neighbor. As she debates her future with Lou, her husband of five years (Seth Rogen), she begins an affair with Daniel.
Like Polley's Away From Her, which was nominated for two Oscars, Take This Waltz is an intimate exploration into the lives of a couple people. Polley, who also wrote the movie, has crafted an engaging drama with finely tuned and nuanced characters. Margot is depressed and Lou is too oblivious to realize anything is wrong. Daniel is just a guy who has found a woman he likes, possibly loves; it's simply inconvenient that she's married.
The convenience of having her live across the street makes up for it, apparently.
Williams turns in yet another fantastic performance that is sure to earn her some award talk in a few months. She's resurrected her career with a string of low key, emotionally splintered characters (see Wendy and Lucy, Blue Valentine and My Week with Marilyn for evidence), and Take This Waltz is much the same. It'd be nice to see her branch out and do something different, but I can't fault her for doing what has earned her three separate Oscar nominations.
Kirby has great chemistry with Williams; the two play off each other incredibly well, bringing their relationship to life. Rogen also turns in a fine performance, though his role is much less significant.
So... Take This Waltz is a well acted, well written and engaging movie. There's just one problem. In my review of Away From Her, I wrote, "It is good, but as soon as the film is done you realize it has left no lasting marks upon you." I could say the same about Take This Waltz. Despite a truly incredible scene toward the end of the movie where Polley rotates around Margot and Daniel as they make love, screw and whatever else over the span of days or weeks or whatever, I don't remember how the movie ends.
That's lasting impact.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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