Today: July 19, 2024

Take This Waltz

If you’re looking for a lead in a dramatic romance you could do a lot worse than Take This Waltz’s Michelle Williams.

If you’re looking for a lead in a dramatic romance
you could do a lot worse than Take This Waltz’s Michelle Williams.

The girl’s as good as made her career from the put-upon tragic romantic;
from her early Dawson’s Creek days
to Brokeback Mountain, Incendiary and Blue Velvet, Williams knows how to weep with the best of them. Partner her with Miss Indie herself, Sarah Polley, and you have a recipe for
heartstring pulling drama.

Margot (Michelle Williams) lives happily with
her husband Lou (Seth Rogen). Their relationship is cute; they talk
in baby voices, cuddle A LOT and play games of ‘how much I love you’. But there’s something missing for
Margot. She’s looking for a spark,
something to get her engine running as opposed to the dull routine she has with
Lou. So when she meets her new
neighbour Daniel (Luke Kirby) the
pair embark on an emotional affair.
Despite not engaging on a physical affair, but rather one of the heart,
Margot and Daniel’s relationship soon starts to put the strain on her marriage
with Lou.

Polley as an
actress is no stranger to a bit of poignant romance, so it is something of a
surprise to see her trying to inject quite so much cuteness into Take This
Waltz. Like Lou and Margot’s
well-rehearsed relationship, Take This Waltz often feels forced. Certain themes are over-egged when less
would have been more. We get it;
Margot is a ‘grass is always greener’ type of gal, while Lou is the used toy
and Daniel is the shiny new trinket.

While the film is
seeped in a glorious sun-kissed aesthetic it often finds itself confused as to
the tone it is aiming for. The
romance and drama are front and centre; Margot struggling with her yearnings
for Daniel while battling the guilt of commitment to Lou. But throw in funny people Sarah
Silverman and Seth Rogen and you sense Polley is aiming for a hint of comedy
which never truly materialises.

Where the tone
and story sometimes falter the cast are resoundingly good. Kirby is asked to do little more than
be dashing but he does it with aplomb and never drops into the category of ‘the
other guy’, instead proving to be the polar opposite to Lou’s more focused
mentality. Rogen is strangely
devoid of his more comedic side, he’s still the loveable chump from Knocked Up
but brings a great deal of heart to the role making it hard for us, as well as
Margot, to chose between him and the more pleasing on the eye Kirby. Pivotal to both the film and the
ménage-a-trois is Michelle Williams.
Having dazzled us with her heartbreaking performances in Brokeback and
Blue Valentine it would be easy to assume that her Margot is another tragic
figure. Instead Williams imbues her with a childish quality, a cute sprite too
naïve to fully grasp the repercussions of her actions until they are too
late. It is far removed enough
from Williams’ usual emotional punch to find yourself amazed by her on a whole
new level.

Take This Waltz
might not step to the beat you expect but it is a heartfelt and at times adorable
little drama.

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email:

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