Sarah Polley’s second film is a strong character study centered around a married woman (Michelle Williams) who, bored with her slightly mundane life, struggles to contain her feelings for Daniel (Luke Kirby), her striking neighbour.
Williams is fantastic, imbuing her character with the brittle fragility that is so common in her roles. As her imperceptive and insensitive husband, Seth Rogen doesn’t quite match the nuance of Williams’ character, partly because he seems stuck in his stereotypical Apatow role of an emotionally stunted man-child.
The film occasionally takes a step too far into typical “indie film” domain, with Williams’ character being quirky to a slightly irritating degree; she orders milk on a plane and tells her husband she loves him by thinking up gruesome ways she could kill him. Williams and her would-be lover’s dialogue is often so contrived that it jolts the film’s atmosphere of mellow realism (Daniel tells her “the word husband is hilarious”). Despite this, Williams is good enough to draw the viewer into her internal conflict and the film manages to intrigue. It is not so much about a woman’s struggle to choose between two good men, or even her struggle to choose between comfort and excitement, so much as it is the story of her attempting to overcome her internal demons.
In Take This Waltz, Polley has created a nuanced, sweet and very watchable film.