Take This Waltz (2012) by, Canadian filmmaker; Sarah Polley is her second film. Her first film is Away From Her (2006), which I hear is a very good film and looks good, from what I’ve is seen in trailer. Take This Waltz reminds me of Eric Rohmer’s Six Moral Tales (1964-1972), which I have mentioned before in another review. I would also say it resembles or parallels The Bakery Girl of Monceau (1964) to be exact. Take This Waltz is more romanticized then Eric Rohmer’s films, but still remains intelligent and smart.
The film deals with Margot (Michelle Williams) who has been married to Lou (Seth Rogen) for five years, but finds Daniel (Luke Kirby) who is something to be desired. Margot first meets Daniel while in Novi Scotia. On the plane ride home Daniel’s seat is next to Margot’s. When they get off the plane they take a cab home and Margot finds out Daniel lives just down the road. From this point on, what spirals into a cat and mouse game of date/non-dates which end up looking like dates; or you could say evolve into dates.
In one of these date-ish interactions Margot asks Daniel that she wants to know what he would do to her. Daniel is a little surprised by such a request but soon begins to tell Margot exactly what he would do to her. What makes this scene great is the fact that the camera never leaves to the reactions of the characters. Where other movies may cut to a sex scene that really isn’t sexy. The restraint in not showing two people having sex but lets the imagination told hold is what makes this scene great. The audience gets to see how the characters respond to what is being said.
There is another scene where Margot tries to seduce Lou, her husband. Lou is working on a cookbook about various ways to cook chicken. While Lou is trying to concentrate and cook chicken, Margot tries to seduce Lou. Margot’s seduction is rejected. Margot begins to cry and tries to explain to Lou it is hard for her to seduce him. Lou does not understand why it is hard for her to seduce him. This scene shows some of the distance between Lou and Margot. This is in opposition to Daniel who seems to understand her, almost better then herself. This distance between Lou and Margot is probably the fault of both parties. Margot not letting Lou become as close as he should be and Lou not trying to know his wife life he should be.
I was also reminded of Blue Valentine (Cianfrance, 2010), which also stars Michelle Williams and the great Ryan Gosling. In Blue Valentine Ryan Gosling’s character says some thing to the effect of how men are more romantic then women. This is because when a man meets a beautiful woman he thinks to himself that he would be crazy not to marry such a girl. While the woman thinks to herself that well this guy is nice and he sticks around I guess I’ll marry him. I can’t help but think this has happened to Margot and Lou. If not there was something to have happened to let the passion fall out of the marriage.
I will not give away the ending as to whether Margot leaves Lou or the marriage between the two gets stronger. While watching the film I could have seen it go either way and at certain points during the film I was bouncing back and forth. I will say I am not sure of the last image of the film, but this is okay because is has kept me thinking. I will need to watch the film again and certainly wanted to when it was over, to comprehend my own feelings and interpretation of the film. I did not fall in love with the film as much as I thought. Since the film remained smart enough, of a film and kept me thinking long after it was over do I forgive it for not making me fall in love, with it the way I expected. If you have a chance to go see this film I suggest seeing it.