"Take This Waltz"
Release Date: Aug. 15, 2012
Running Time: 116 minutes
The heart wants what the heart wants, consequences be damned. In Take This Waltz, Michelle Williams finds herself torn between Seth Rogen, her slightly dull but devoted husband, and Luke Kirby, the soulful stranger with whom she enters into an emotional affair. The agony that Williams exudes as she slowly sizes up both men can be felt in every moment inTake This Waltz. Writer/director Sarah Polley doesn’t make it easy for Williams. The safe choice is Rogen. He effectively tones down his onscreen comic persona to play a likable everyman and writer of chicken cookbooks. It’s easy to imagine any bored wife being drawn to the quietly charming Kirby. Rickshaw driver by day, artist by night, Kirby comes across as sensitive but not moody, knowing without being arrogant. Unfortunately, Williams can’t do anything to convince us that her freelance writer Margot deserves either Rogen or Kirby’s attention. Margot is a colorless creation, one who is defined by her obvious neediness and the indecision that cripples her from start to Take This Waltz’s unfortunate finish. Williams’ nondescript performance doesn’t help draw you into Margot’s plight or make you care about her future well-being. Polley allows Take This Waltz to unfold at a slow pace, which reflects Margot’s dawdling but also proves to be further alienating. The only time Take This Waltz comes to life is toward the end, when Polley masterfully articulates the fleeting sense of ecstasy Margot takes from the decision she finally makes. Set to the song by Leonard Cohen that Take This Waltz borrows its name from, Polley chronicles in music video-like fashion the rare joy that Margot experiences over the course of several month. For just a few minutes, Polley allows us to feel good for a woman whose efforts to escape her dreary existence leaves lingering doubt about her future happiness.
Aired: Aug. 14, 2012
Web site: http://www.magpictures.com/takethiswaltz/