If they allowed quarter notes on here, I would give this film 4 & ¬ 1/4 stars.
Sarah Polley‚(TM)s debut feature was a heartbreakingly gorgeous look at an elderly couple dealing with Alzheimers. In her sophomore effort ‚Take This Waltz‚?, Polley shifts her focus from the confinement and finality of old age, to the uncertainty and anxiety that comes with youth.
When 28-year-old Margot has a chance encounter with the
artistically-minded rickshaw driver Daniel, she has to choose between the promise of this new fantasy, or the ever imperfect reality of her sweet, albeit humdrum husband. While desiring to whole-heartedly bask in this new romantic reverie, Margot must constantly battle with what is innocent exploration and what is crossing the line. Most of all, she wants what nobody can have. The knowledge of where each road will ultimately take us. Whether the one we are currently on is ‚right‚? and what we ‚deserve‚?, or whether we need to make a lane change.
Polley effectively probes the push and pull between fantasy and
reality with a series of wonderfully crafted scenes. One in particular involves Daniel & Margot on an amusement park ride. They are spinning to the sounds of The Buggles, cloaked in brilliant colors, and fully immersed in a sensual hallucination. Suddenly, they are jerked to a standstill as the ride shuts down. The mirage quickly fades and the cold hard reality of their decisions quickly set in. We all know what it is like to get swept up in what-ifs and Polley authentically recreates their magical lure on the big screen.
The film‚(TM)s power is further augmented by great performances. Williams, surprise surprise, is fantastic. But what really surprised me were the supporting performances. Rogen continues to show that he isn‚(TM)t a one-trick comedy pony and is capable of meatier roles. The same goes for Silverman who really impressed me here. She goes toe to toe with Williams in a few scenes and I was struck by how she effortlessly held her own. While I do wish her character had a few more scenes, I was very thankful for every moment she had on screen.
My one big complaint of the film is that it seems that Polley was
infected by the ‚indie‚? bug. Some of the conversations regarding
‚should-vitations‚? and other things of that sort just reeked of quirkiness. Also, do I even need to attack the fact that Daniel is a rickshaw driver AND an aspiring artist? No, because it sounds like his character was pulled straight from a book of movie clich√ (C)s. Yet, Luke Kirby‚(TM)s subtle performance saves what could so easily have become an unbelievable character. Also, a movie so grounded in reality got a bit implausible towards the end in a scene involving the police. But I don‚(TM)t want to go into too much detail for fear that I will spoil something for those of you who haven‚(TM)t seen it yet.
Overall, this film is replete with inspired and very real moments.Being a married man myself, I was amazed at how expertly she nails moments of marital miscommunication. How often times a partner isn‚(TM)t guilty of malice, but of reading a situation wrong. I love that Polley didn‚(TM)t attempt to vilify any of the characters, and that she shows how decisions of this magnitude are truly life-changing and are excruciatingly difficult to ponder. It is an excellent sophomore effort and shows that Polley is not only a real talent in front of the camera, but behind it as well.