Take This Waltz is about a woman contemplating the fate of her marriage. But being from Toronto, I couldn’t help but enjoy the film for its gorgeous portrayal of the city during the summer.
Directed by Sarah Polley, the film’s focus is Margot (Michelle Williams), a freelance writer struggling to draw the line between loyalty and desire after a chance meeting with a rickshaw driver named Daniel (Luke Kirby) during a business trip to Nova Scotia. It’s obvious from the start that the chemistry between them is immediate. But being a happily married woman to Lou (Seth Rogen), Margot tries to push away her feelings.
But upon learning that Daniel lives across the street from her and her husband, Margot soon begins to question the certainty of her marriage. As her and Daniel deliberately try to find ways to run into each other, the two share moments full of sexual tension through drinking martinis, rides at the amusement park and even a romantic swim at night in the local pool.
Oddly enough, Lou, a cookbook writer, is completely unsuspecting of his wife’s adventures. As Margot tries to find a deeper connection to her husband, their painfully childish relationship is reduced to making funny faces and shooting odd terms of endearments at each other like, “I love you so much I’m gonna put your spleen through a meat grinder.”
Just under two hours, Take This Waltz lingers…just like Margot’s feelings. It overstays its visit, constantly providing the audience with the burning question of “Will she cheat? Or will she not?” Thankfully enough, the answer is revealed during the movie’s final chapter.
Visually, the film is absolutely stunning. Capturing areas of Toronto such as Kensington Market, Centre Island, Kew Beach and Trinity Bellwoods Park, Polley succeeds in making the city look colourful and appealing like a bowl of fruit on a hot summer’s day.
Acting wise, Williams remains a director’s dream, perfectly capturing the insecure, needy and self-absorbed Margot. However, it’s Rogen and Sarah Silverman who really impress as they prove they can be serious actors as well. With Rogen’s Lou gaining sympathy for being the innocent bystander in his wife’s love triangle, Silverman also handles herself well as Lou’s alcoholic sister trying to stay sober.
Overall, Take This Waltz lingered a bit too long to keep me patient. But considering that I am a born and bred Torontonian, seeing Polley’s beautiful homage of the city through its sight, sounds and attractions was like watching a video postcard of Toronto.