Take This Waltz
Sarah Polley’s third time in the director’s chair is a charm, following up her excellent debut Away From Her with a smart, funny, well-acted dramedy about a restlessly melancholic romantic destined for bitter disappointment. Of course, that’s my takeaway as a cynical observer. I’m pretty sure Polley wouldn’t describe it like that. But anywho, Michelle Williams makes the most out of her complex role as the frustrated married woman torn between her loving but sexually inattentive husband (Seth Rogen) and the brooding hunky painter next door (Luke Kirby), who she develops a hands-off but erotically charged friendship with. For most of the film it’s an enjoyable if tense juggling act as Williams’s Margo negotiates both relationships and tries to keep one from broadsiding the other and vice versa, but there’s such nuance in the writing and performances that give the story an added layer of desperation, even if what you’re seeing is being presented as funny, playful or romantic. Polley’s camera captures every quiet moment Margo has, and the story it tells is often an ironic counterpoint to the vivid, cheerful colors employed by her cinematographer. Poetical, that girl.