Take This Waltz Reviews
The flirtation between her and ripped rickshaw driver Daniel is restrainedly sexy, but the moment she...takes this waltz (if you will)...the movie shifts tone and becomes surface fantasy fulfillment, then pseudo-morality tale, then "I am woman hear me meow" fever dream. All three of these revelations come too late in the film for them to have any impact.
Oh Seth Rogen. You are no wispy-faced Charlotte Rampling in Woody Allen's "Stardust Memories," nor are you child prodigy Jean-Pierre Leaud in Francois Truffaut's "The 400 Blows." Those artily cut scenes of long, emotionally wrought or emotionally stoic monologues (respectively) are iconic due to their pure, eyes-open candor. Seth Rogen knew he had to bring it for this dramatic role, and once again, good for him for trying, but he shouldn't have tried so hard. Uncover your face and let's see you feel something instead of acting like you're feeling something.
The upsides of this experience were that this movie made me want to
1. move to Montreal. The neighborhood looks so colorful and cool, and there are freakin' rickshaws and a within-walking-distance beach and mock-floggings for tourists!
2. watch twee kook Miranda July's tweely kooky "You, Me, and Everyone We Know" again. I didn't love it as a whole, but I found the beautiful parts REALLY beautiful, and I think I'd appreciate it more now in comparison.
Initially I just found it so pretty to look at - the colours in this are beautiful and I loved almost every outfit Michelle Williams wore.
As it goes on, I found it really spoke to me. There is nothing wrong with either of the guys and the ending is not unhappy, as such. The sadness comes from the gap inside and that the initial newness does not last as life continues on. The something lacking inside. I think this is the point most couples have children and try to hide from it and feel life does indeed have meaning.
I don't think this will speak to all, but I would think a lot of women could relate whether they care to admit to it or not.
We have seen this story dozens of times: the plot is Bridges of Madison County, Unfaithful: and countless others. But Michelle Williams's performance is beyond compare, and Seth Rogen gives a remarkable, emotionally demanding performance. The third act scene that consists of several flash cuts is so heartbreaking because Rogen plays it straight and honestly. Even Sarah Silverman's third act scene is remarkable.
What sets Take this Waltz apart from its peers is the level of profundity its conclusion reaches. Like Annie Hall, Take the Waltz shows that we are foundationally flawed, that our natural desires lead to our emotional ruin, that our lives can be condemned to tepidity despite our best efforts. Essentially, it's a pessimistic film, but it doesn't feel as damning as it is.
Overall, Take this Waltz is an old story, but that's its one flaw; aside from the well-traveled ground, this is one of the finest films I've seen in a long time.
Good movie! Take This Waltz is a magnificent achievement from everyone involved, not the least of which being a magnificent work from Michelle Williams. As told by Polley, it's a moving and incredibly true exploration into an aspect of life that is rarely explored. Polley's approach lacks the kind of dramatic punch that one often finds in films dealing with the subject of adultery. There's no erotic lighting, no sweaty bodies crashing into one another, and no shouting matches between splintered lovers. She removes it of all the typical bells and whistles that could make something like this appeal to a mainstream Hollywood audience and instead creates a soft, touching and remarkably human film. It's something that deserves to be admired. Seth Rogen is surprisingly effective in his role as the geeky, but loving husband. I found myself constantly rooting for him. He did a great job of making his character imperfect but likable, but most importantly, believable. Sarah Silverman delivered nicely in her role, especially near the end of the film. If there was a weak link, it was Luke Kirby, who never seemed to show much emotion at all, in a role where there was such potential for it. Michelle Williams continues to grow as an actress, able to say more with her eyes and her body language than she is with the script of lines. She is truly remarkable. The film does still have some flaws with it's pacing and there are times where it gets swept up in it's melancholy and it can tend to drag a little bit, but there is still enough rewarding things on display here to be worth a watch, even if you have to think about the film a couple days after you watch it, or even have repeat viewings. Brave viewers should give the film a chance and think about what it says about loneliness, relationships and the myths we sometimes promise ourselves, but ultimately lie to each other and ourselves about.
While on a plane ride back to Toronto from a writing assignment, Margot meets Daniel, a handsome stranger. An immediate attraction is formed and Margot is able to open up and discuss some of her fears and longings. A taxi ride back home causes Daniel and Margot to realize that they are neighbours and Margot admits she's married. The summer-time heat and her increasing fascination with the handsome artist who lives across the street starts getting to her, and Margot is no longer sure if she's happy in her marriage or if she'd be happier with her fantasies with Daniel.
So little is said but the film resonates from one shot to the next as this emotional coaster of uncertainty openly reveals the fleeting desires and looming pains of what it means to chase after something so fantastical.
Margo is inherently annoying, silly even! But she's a believer and if you're going to judge her for that then this film isn't for you. Her entire journey of self discovery, fear, insecurities.... should be free of the viewer's morality but ironically the ambiguity of it is a core theme to her story.
The film's engagingly thought provoking with it's subtleties from start to finish so I had no trouble staying intrigued. But I also found the slow pacing elemental, it reflected what it feels like to endure Margo's position as a tormented seeker.
Also I'd like to note the open ending. I would have felt cheated if an absolute was given to her quest for happiness, because ultimately, it should never end.
Finally, the filmography is simply beautiful. Which is fitting for a subject with such idealized elegance.
Michelle Williams (stellar, as always) and Seth Rogen (monotonously decent, but not worthy of the praise he's been getting) play Margot and Lou, a Montreal couple who seems to love each other and enjoy being with each other after about five years of marriage. While on a trip, Margot meets, in an extremely movie-cute way, Daniel (Luke Kirby). The next convenient contrivance comes when they find out they live across the street from each other. Margot and Daniel start bumping into each other accidentally, and then on purpose. They flirt, have intelligent conversations and get to know each other. They mentally bond without the physical connections. During it all, they perform several actions that seem artificial, even for a pair of thwarted lovebirds. For example: an ill-conceived, borderline laughable non-speaking, non-touching synchronized swimming exercise (get it? They can't touch because she's married. How clever!).
For much of the film, it looks like Polley is offering a treatise on how relationships last even when hitting rough ground. She even brings in the troubles of an alcoholic sister-in-law (Sarah Silverman) to underscore it (although I can't say this subplot adds much to the story). The film sports a loose grasp on its narrative throughout, and it eventually runs off the rails. This derailment accentuates how much the entire movie needs tightening. Too many scenes run on too long after serving their purpose. In terms of structure, it almost felt like someone handed Polley a "how to" manual for creating an indie drama that plums the troubling depths of relationships, and she hits all of the notes with varying degrees of payoff. Often times, Take This Waltz feels thin and entirely too self-conscious. Even the connection made between the film and the Leonard Cohen song it takes its name from seems a little forced and nonsensical.
That said, Take This Waltz somehow never becomes boring and usually remains insightful and contemplative. It's an admirable and honest look at the unforgiving, cyclical nature of our expectations for relationships... if you're able to put aside the contrivances.
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.
A happily married woman falls for the artist who lives across the street.
Sarah Polley includes Leonard Cohen's titular song at the key moment, as she tells an intense story of voided relationships. The story is of Margot, a beautiful Michelle Williams and her partially satisfying and comfortable marriage to Lou, a believable Seth Rogen. Margot perceives gaps in her relationship and sees in Daniel (Luke Kirby) what she lacks. Includes some racy scenes but in context, and it's really a stunningly beautiful, romantic and insightful movie. Not just a chick's flick but it does move slowly at times as it plumbs relationships and context, and some people won't get it. That's at least part of the issue that Polley deals with as she contemplates change, trading comfort for excitement, the known for the unknown and certainty for no longer being afraid.
Polley's sophomore directorial offering feels more like a first film because it plays as if it's deeply personal. She also brings Toronto to life with bright-saturated colours and beautiful street and beachfront settings. The expressed theme of the film is exploring the gap-that potentially terrifying space between things, places, or more importantly commitment and relationships. This theme arises again and again throughout the film. Whether it's between Geraldine's (Silverman) sobriety and drunkenness or Margot's (Williams) neurotic fear of changing planes between two connecting flights (requiring wheelchair assistance even though she's not disabled) or the anxious and confusing space that exists between the love of a husband, Lou (Rogen), and the love of a new potential romantic and erotic partner, Daniel (Kirby), we are always in the gap-never firmly on one side or the other. A lovely, haunting story in which many will find reality to resonate for a long time.