Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Take This Waltz (2011)

Take This WaltzIt’s summer in Toronto when married Margot (Michelle Williams) meets painter and bicycle-rickshaw driver Daniel (Luke Kirby). He awakens the desire missing in her relationship with Lou (Seth Rogen). Once they realize they are neighbors, things get complicated.

Margot and chicken-recipe creator Lou engage in juvenile discussions. Lou cooks away and Margot hangs on him. (Twice, it looks like a burn accident waiting to happen). Their interactions are klutzy. For most of the movie, I was certain Margot was suffering from some form of mental illness. By the end, she just seemed awkward.

Margot’s yearning for Daniel consumes her, but she also can’t leave Lou. Her guilt overwhelms her but she can’t stay away from Daniel. Margot and Daniel relate on different level. When she makes a decision, her life with Daniel is happy but after seeing Lou again, she leaves sad. Her time with Lou wasn’t bad, just beige. They had a connection, albeit a different one that was no longer sustainable.

Take this Waltz has its peculiarities. Lou and Margot’s relationship is stuck in junior high. When he’s taking an important business call, she is sticking her fingers in his mouth, making it nearly impossible for him to respond. They regularly banter about the violent things they will do to each other, trying to one up on the scale of disturbing. Rogen’s limited acting skills didn’t bother me. In fact, it worked with the role of the blank-page guy who simply wants the girl to love him.

There’s a subplot involving Geraldine (Sarah Silverman), Lou’s sister in recovery. Her relationship with Margot is genuine but it gets little time, which is unfortunate because it gives insight into Margot from a platonic perspective. Silverman does a good job with a role that doesn’t center on scat jokes. To celebrate Geraldine’s sobriety, Lou and Margot throw an excellent party with food, dancing and a stand-out song by Feist covering Leonard Cohen’s Closing Time. (Loved it.)

The movie’s hazy colors and depiction of summer intertwine with the plot’s complex feelings. I bought the kooky Margot-Lou pairing and I understand how it worked until it didn’t.

Writer/director: Sarah Polley

Country: Canada

Genre: Drama

Run time: 95 minutes

Scale: 3

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