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Take This Waltz *****

 This romantic drama explores the effects of time on a long-term relationship. Margot (Michelle Williams) meets Daniel (Luke Kirby) on a trip and they instantly feel drawn to each other. It turns out they have the same itinerary and are neighbors. Before they reluctantly part, Margot admits that she is married. We see Margot and her husband Lou (Seth Rogen) interacting with great familiarity, teasing each other, playing practical jokes. But when Margot tries to seduce him, they don’t seem to be able to connect. In the meantime, Margot and Daniel bump into each other often, but they also look for excuses to spend time with each other. Feeling guilty about her feelings towards Daniel, Margot tries to connect to Lou once more, while they have dinner celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary. An unsettled Lou states that, already living together, “they know everything about each other already”. We learn that Margot and Lou care for each other deeply, but they love each other like brother and sister. So what happened to Margot and Lou, have they been like this from the start?

In the beginning, we see Margot in a wheelchair at the airport in between flight connections, not because she is disabled, but because she feels overwhelmed by the stress of the “in between”. The whole movie explores what this means for human relationships and what people choose to make of this feeling. In the end, the answer to that question will decide whether Margot chooses Lou or Daniel.

What a gem this movie is! To me, Michelle Williams always seems to have the same awkward, non-expressive and somewhat dowdy style. And yet, in this movie she was well cast alongside Seth Rogen, who delivered quite a good performance. The multilayered story was told with a sharp eye for the dynamics of human relationships, aided by beautifully framed pictures kept in the retro style of the 1970s. Sarah Polley works with symbols on many levels: Margot and Lou kissing through a window, she and Daniel swimming synchronically, or the soundtrack that always tells us something about how the characters feel. We see pain, love and cowardice while people are confronted with the borders of their comfort zone before some of them find a more truthful and happier life – unlike so many people in real life. (Katia Trost)

  • Take This Waltz  (Canada/Spain/Japan 2011)
  • Starts March 7 2013
  • Directed by: Sarah Polley
  • Writing credits: Sarah Polley
  • Cast: Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Luke Kirby, Sarah Silverman
  • Length: 116 min.

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