The Tribeca Film Festival is in full swing in New York City, and Take This Waltz was among the many we were excited to check out. The film stars indie staple Michelle Williams as a woman whose magnetic pull to a neighbor makes her question whether she is truly happy in her marriage.
- Who's behind it? The film was written, produced, and directed by Sarah Polley, whose most recent directorial work is 2006's Away From Her. Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Luke Kirby, and Sarah Silverman star.
- What's it about? Margot (Williams) has been happily married to Lou (Rogen) for the past five years. They tell one another they love each other so much that they detail ways in which they'd kill the other (usually with kitchen appliances), and they're supremely intimate in every way except on a sexual level. Despite their evident love, the couple isn't communicating on a very basic level, making Margot feel as though something is missing. In a series of chance encounters abroad, she ends up meeting Daniel (Kirby), who is mysterious, dark, handsome, and everything her professional chicken chef husband is not. The two have an unexplainable magnetic pull to one another, and when they return to their respective homes, they realize they're neighbors. It's unlikely, but hey, it's fate. Margot and Daniel begin spending time together, but they're plagued by Margot's existing, yet failing, connection to her husband.
For my thoughts on the film, just keep reading.
- What did I think? Margot sums up her personal issues early in the film through a metaphor about her fear of airports: "I'm afraid of connections. I'm afraid of being in between things." This is her struggle, and we see it play out over the course of the film. I was surprised by how entertained I was by the low-key humor, how easy it was to identify with each member of the love triangle (especially Lou, who Rogen impressively plays with a wonderful and subtle touch), and eventually, by how invested I became in the outcome. Margot's tendency to turn into a walking puddle of humiliation when she's in front of Daniel can be as endearing as it is annoying. She stumbles, she stutters, and in a particularly hilarious scene, she pees herself in a pool while doing water aerobics with senior citizens. Still, the underlying question remains: new may be exciting, but is it really better? The characters are flawed, but it's a story that resonates up until the last, effectual frame.
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures