Today: April 12, 2024

Take This Waltz

Tales of infidelity are more often

Tales of
infidelity are more often than not subject to seediness and the thrill of
Sarah Polley’s
latest film, her first since 2005’s Oscar-nominated Away From Her, however sidesteps the familiar drama and instead
releases the pressures of cheating onto a seemingly content marriage, resulting
in a painful and sweet piece of cinema.

Take This
sees Seth Rogen
take a rare step into the subtle and sincere, fleshing out his half of a
comfortable and undoubtedly intimate relationship that thrives on silliness and
safety. Camping out in a bohemian state of domestic bliss, irritable cracks
develop between Lou (Rogen) and his wife Margot (Michelle Williams) after a seemingly harmless
flirtation between Margot and Luke
Daniel spirals into infatuation.

Williams does well
to convey a young woman in turmoil, trapped in a grass is greener inner
conflict that treads a fine line between loyalty and lust. Petite and pleasant,
she brings a hypnotic quality to Margot that is difficult to look away from
and, even in the throws of temptation, she remains a sympathetic character.

Supporting performances are dynamic; Sarah Silverman is punchy as Lou’s recovering alcoholic sister and
Kirby is a steady force of enticement that doesn’t shy away from the subject of
Margot’s marriage. Such traits make the chemistry between both Margot and
Daniel and Margot and Lou utterly believable; whether there is familiarity in
the narrative or not there is no denying a strong reaction to what’s happening.

Polley’s screenplay is an almost uncomfortably personal
account of what it means to be in a longstanding relationship. The voices and
lazy couple humour that unavoidably come from being with the same person for a
long time are conveyed warmly against the tentative and restrained moments
between Margot and Daniel. At times the connotations are a little obvious;
Margot’s fear of connections at airports holds a neon sign above her emotional
instability while Daniel yelling “Dude, good luck with the chicken,” at Rogen’s
poultry chef Lou after Margot hastily brushes away his advances at their house
party is pretty blatant.

Otherwise, this is a lovely film. The cinematography runs
close to becoming an Instagram commercial but works well to convey the sleepy
Canadian town where Margot and Lou have made their home. This portrait of a
flailing relationship is handled affectionately with an excellent performance
from Williams and a heart-wrenching turn from Rogen. Take This Waltz has
established Polley’s unfaltering treatment of raw emotional strain and it can
only be hoped it won’t be another five years until her next feature.

Beth Webb - Events Editor

I aim to bring you a round up of the best film events in the UK, no matter where you are or what your preference. For live coverage of events across London, follow @FilmJuice

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