In Take this Waltz, Michele Williams plays a restless and slightly unhinged woman who, having become disillusioned with her marriage to chicken-obsessed chef Seth Rogen, dabbles in an odd relationship with a young man, Daniel (Luke Kirby) who lives in her street.
Williams’s character will produce widely differing responses from audiences; some will see her as horribly selfish while others will sympathize with her as a lost soul. Either way, few would disagree that Williams is terrific in a challenging role that requires her to be strange, lovable, funny and infuriating at once. The role also sees her involved in threesomes, water ballet, full frontal nudity and odd dream-like sequences. In a slightly less challenging but still uncharacteristic role, Seth Rogan successfully steps a few paces away from his traditional comic goof ball persona.
As well as arresting performances the film has a remarkable look as director Sarah Polley bathes the trendy inner city milieu of Toroto’s Little Portugal area in a vivid colour scheme.
The film is, however, too twee and quirky at times with Daniel driving a rickshaw and Rogen going on about chicken too much when he’s not engaging in irritating baby talk with Williams. Also, in an early airport scene, there’s a thuddingly obvious metaphor about people’s inability to connect with each other. The tweeness is partly abated by the films darker themes of mental illness and marriage breakdown.
Take this Waltz runs about 15 minutes too long with about six false endings which dissipates its overall effect but it’s mostly an engaging and at times disturbing film.
Director: Sarah Polley
Release date: 14th June 2012
Running time: 116 mins