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Director: Sarah Polley
Starring: Michelle Williams, Seth Rogan, Luke Kirby, Sarah Silverman
2 / 5
It's rather difficult to enjoy a movie when you so very much dislike the central character.
I have no idea if the makers of 'Take This Waltz' intended to make Michelle Williams' character so unlikeable - but if that was their aim, then they have overwhelmingly succeeded.
The film is the second from writer/director Sarah Polley, following her critically acclaimed debut 'Away From Her'. While Polley’s first film looked at a married couple in their later years, 'Take This Waltz' is the story of a young couple in their first years of being wed.
Williams plays 28-year-old Margot, who is happily married to cookbook author Lou (played by Seth Rogan). Or at least it appears that way. While Lou is contentedly carrying on with life, Margot seems to be missing... something. Until one day, she meets the mysterious Daniel (played by Luke Kirby) – and the attraction between the two is immediate and intense.
While Margot initially brushes off this desire, she finds it much harder to ignore when she discovers Daniel happens to live across the street. Thus begins a dance between Margot's wish to do all manner of things with this new acquaintance and her loyalty to a, by all accounts, good husband.
While I understand that Daniel is supposed to represent an object of desire (or "the thing that makes you question your life", according to director Polley), I struggled to see why anybody would desire Daniel over husband Lou, with Kirby failing to inject much in the way of charisma or charm into his character.
But this bemusement would seem to be the point of the film. The director herself says she hopes that those who see 'Take This Waltz' "will not know what Margot should do and they'll bring their own lives into the decision".
Which is all very well and good - but this doesn't change the fact that 'Take This Waltz' is a sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes annoying watch. Parts of the movie that I presume are meant to have some deep meaning just come off as pretentious.
And then there is Margot. With her somewhat erratic behaviour, propensity to use baby talk with her husband and general flightiness, it is hard to care what happens to her. But perhaps that was the point too?
'Take This Waltz' is in NZ cinemas from August 9.