Take This Waltz

Take This Waltz

A funny, powerful and beautifully bittersweet story that follows Margot, as she struggles to choose between two different types of love. As her mind and heart battle against each other, and caught in the swealtering heat of a hot Toronto summer, Margot uncovers and ignites a side to herself that she never knew existed. 3.6 out of 5 based on 17 reviews
Take This Waltz

Omniscore:

Certificate 15
Genre Comedy
Director Sarah Polley
Cast Seth Rogan, Sarah Silverman, Aaron Abrams, Michelle Williams, Luke Kirby
Studio Studio Canal UK
Release Date August 2012
Running Time 116 mins
 

A funny, powerful and beautifully bittersweet story that follows Margot, as she struggles to choose between two different types of love. As her mind and heart battle against each other, and caught in the swealtering heat of a hot Toronto summer, Margot uncovers and ignites a side to herself that she never knew existed.

Reviews

The Daily Telegraph

Robbie Collin

Polley’s ideas and images are never subtle, but that’s part of the charm. Her film is flush with beauty and truth, and is unerringly, unnervingly accurate on love, desire and friendship.

16/08/2012

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Time Out

Cath Clarke

The acting is terrific. Rogen brings a breakable sweetness to Lou that he’s never shown before. Sarah Silverman is perfect as his brittle, recovering alcoholic sister – she’s the only one who spots the storm coming in Lou’s marriage. As for Williams, I could watch her for hours. There’s an extraordinary scene where she takes Daniel on her favourite fairground ride and loses herself completely to its thrills and spills. This, you sense, is how she wants love to feel. But that intensity can’t last. It’s a subtle, complex portrait of arrested development: there’s something unfinished about Margot. She’s a pretty girl who never grew up.

15/08/2012

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The Times

Wendy Ide

Margot is a fascinating creation. Mercurial and contradictory, unpredictable and not especially likable, she is flawed and very human. Williams is captivating in the role ... Kirby has the striking looks and sexual intensity to make Daniel a credible spanner in the works of Margot’s life. But he’s a slightly more two-dimensional creature, perhaps intentionally. Polley’s argument is that Margot is as much in love with the feeling of falling in love as she is with Daniel.

17/08/2012

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Total Film

Kevin Harley

Feints, evasions, intimacies, indoor fireworks, angst-frayed flirtations: these are Polley’s moves. Amiably bloke-ish yet near boorish, Rogen’s acutely judged man-child schtick makes sense of Margot’s hot/cold feelings towards him. But Williams rules in an emotionally raw turn, channelling Margot’s war between temptation and commitment until it pops from every flushed pore. Such is repression’s pain, though Polley offsets any hand-wringing with a sensitivity to pleasure.

31/07/2012

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The Observer

Philip French

Take This Waltz is so truthful and honest a film that on the rare occasions it hits a false note or becomes over-explicit or sentimental, it really jars. Like the Cohen song, Polley's movie touches on familiar feelings and evokes common experiences in a way that goes beyond what can be explained or paraphrased.

19/08/2012

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Empire Magazine

David Hughes

A welcome departure from typical treatments of infidelity, which tend to establish variants of marital dissatisfaction before trusting an audience to accept an extra-marital yearning. One of Polley’s great strengths is that she is resistant to cliché and shortcutting, striving to create a film which removes any trace of artifice.

13/08/2012

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The Evening Standard

David Sexton

As an invitation to female fantasy, compared with Fifty Shades it’s genius: thoughtful, contemporary, tasteful, well-written — everything EL James is not.

17/08/2012

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The Los Angeles Times

Betsy Sharkey

Polley is concerned with the idea of how uncomfortable we humans are with ambiguity, which is fine as a thematic element but more difficult to pull off as a narrative style. It works more than it doesn't. What is consistently locked down is the look. She's working with cinematographer Luc Montpellier, her collaborator on the much-admired 2006 film "Away From Her," and using her own stamping grounds of the Kensington Market area of Toronto as a backdrop.

05/07/2012

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The New York Times

A. O. Scott

Margot is stubborn, decent and disciplined, but also selfish, needy and coy. Nobody in this film is just one way. Ms. Polley, as a writer, a director of actors and a constructor of images, excels at managing the idiosyncrasies and contradictions of her characters so that our knowledge of them is both intimate and mined with potential surprise. Margot and Daniel don’t know what they are going to do, and Lou does not know what is happening, and for most of the movie we dwell in a similar state of suspense and partial knowledge.

28/06/2012

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Scotland on Sunday

Siobhan Synnot

Has the sting of real life about it, and thinking about it afterwards feels like thinking about people you know.

12/08/2012

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Screen

Anthony Kaufman

While the premise might sound simplistic, Polley digs deep into the scenario, slowing building up a platonic entanglement between Margot and Daniel - most notably in a kind of sex scene, only enacted with words - and yet keeping her protagonist “in between things”, a state the character admits early in the film is what she fears most. Despite a script that spells out Margot’s condition a little too explicitly, at times, Williams, as always, brings a freshness and naturalism to the role.

12/09/2011

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The New Statesman

Ryan Gilbey

It’s touch-and-go at times. Any passengers overhearing Daniel’s and Margot’s first encounter could have bailed out at 30,000 feet without being accused of overreacting. “I don’t like being in between things,” Margot tells him. “I’m afraid of being afraid.” This isn’t dialogue: it’s potted characterisation. Late in the film, Margot’s sister-in-law, Geraldine (Sarah Silverman), challenges her on the cause of her melancholia: “Life has a gap in it. It just does. You don’t go crazy trying to fill it.” This is all obscurely insulting to the actors, who are good enough to convey such sentiments without self-help slogans, and the audience, which might prefer screenplays that aren’t mission statements in disguise.

15/08/2012

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The Financial Times

Leo Robson

Polley delivers a rich evocation of the central marriage, with its mixture of by-rote ritual and easy comfort, and makes the wise and unusual decision to portray the cuckold-to-be as decent and good-natured, rather than stiff or cruel. Unfortunately, it also serves to render her crush on their rickshaw-driver-by-day, painter-by-night neighbour even more bewildering. The conversations between husband and wife are more spontaneous, less strained and self-conscious, than those between wife and would-be lover.

16/08/2012

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The Independent on Sunday

Jonathan Romney

there's something uncomfortable about the dialogue in what's very much a thinking-aloud, these-are-my-feelings film. Margot cuddles up to Lou in the kitchen, but it's not the best moment for him, as he's slaving over a hot fricassee; she pulls back, aggrieved: "Do you know how much courage it takes to seduce you?" Take This Waltz is the sort of film that elicits the complaint, "But no one talks like that in real life." But really, it's a question of whether the film can persuasively make these people talk like that in this fiction – and for my money, Polley doesn't succeed.

19/08/2012

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The Sunday Times

Cosmo Landesman

Visually, the film is all bright, vibrant fairy-light colours: it’s the emotions and drama that are muted. Everything is underplayed and understated, which gives the film an anti-Hollywood maturity and realism, but also lessens the impact of the ending. Polley sets up the problem in an interesting way, but I don’t think she has much to say on the subject. Key questions — at what point do we put personal happiness before emotional commitment? Is Margot a victim of the modern pursuit of unreasonable expectations? — aren’t addressed. Also, the morality of cheating on your partner, be it with mind or body, isn’t really developed. Modern film-makers don’t seem to have any interest in the moral drama of being human. It’s considered being moralistic.

19/08/2012

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

[Polley is] a much better director than she is a writer. Her summoning of mood is tremendously assured ... But the backstories ring false: Margot never seems to do any work, Daniel is too well-off to be a rickshaw driver, and Lou looks like a guy who's never read, let alone written, a recipe in his life. Williams has fine expressive features, but she's often as annoying as she is adorable, too ready to wrap herself in a shawl of waifish victimhood.

17/08/2012

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

At one stage, two characters go for some flirty afternoon martinis, but you might almost imagine that the subsequent dialogue about sex is a spoof, dubbed in for a hoax, and what they are actually talking about is the texture of Jarlsberg cheese. Until, that is, we reach the film's most extraordinary sequence, a cutesy "sex" montage, which takes place in a very expensive-looking loft apartment. It is enough to make Alex Comfort's beard fall out: one of the most odd and unsexy sex scenes in cinema history. The bedroom moments of the puppets in Team America looked more human and believable than this bizarre sex scene, which seems to misread its own characters.

16/08/2012

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