Sarah Polley is one of those rare actresses, who have a certain degree of success in front and behind of the camera. Her best known performances consist of the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead (aka. the one in a shopping centre) and 2009’s sci-fi horror Splice. However, it is her directing career that is winning the hearts of film critics. Her debut film, Away from Her, earned her an Academy Award nomination in 2008 for Best Adapted Screenplay, and she became the first female recipient of the Genie Award for Best Achievement in Direction in the same year.
Her second film, Take this Waltz, follows the bittersweet tale of freelance writer Margot (Williams), who has been married to aspiring cookery author Lou (Rogen) for five years. During a chance meeting, she meets the attractive Daniel (Luke Kirby), who turns out to be her new neighbour. There is an obvious attraction between them, and through their seeiningly random encounters, Margot starts toying with the idea of infidelity as her emotions run wild.
Take this Waltz is not like most films dealing with the idea of infidelity. There is no obvious just cause for it here; just a young woman who is aching for change. Williams plays Margot with a relatable complexity – given the unlucky-lady-in-love role, which is similar to that of her performances in My Week with Marilyn and Blue Valentine, Williams has proven to the critics that she has the maturity and sensitivity to pull off the performance of a troubled soul. Rogen and Kirby put in the same sensitivity to their performances and have great chemistry with Williams but struggle to reach the bar established by her. It is, however, strange to see Rogen play a serious role as loving but not overly-affectionate Lou – a character so unlike the entertaining roles he has done in the past.
Polley takes the material and while approaching it with a level-headedness that can only be admired, treats it with TLC. Take this Waltz doesn’t divulge into cliches and focuses on great dialogue and character chemistry, making it all the more better.
Take the Waltz is wonderfully played out, with a great performance from Williams, bringing a refreshing change on the typical out-of-love relationship.