Polley's latest is uneven, albeit genuinely affecting in places.
Saturday, September 10, 9:30 p.m.
Roy Thomson Hall (60 Simcoe Street)
Sunday, September 11, 12 p.m.
Ryerson Theatre (43 Gerrard Street East)
Like Away From Her, Take This Waltz is a film about infidelity, specifically, the emotional dosey-do between married couple Lou (Seth Rogen) and Margot (Michelle Williams) and Daniel (Luke Kirby), a handsome rickshaw puller who happens to be their neighbour. After meeting on an airplane, Margot and Daniel form a relationship under the nose of the sweet but kind-of-oblivious Lou. As the loving, exceptionally huggable hubby, Rogen’s brand of dopey befuddlement has never been better harnessed. If anything it’s Williams who unbalances the film, twisted through a ringer of emotional registers, from gleefully chipmunk-cheeked to puffy-eyed and despairing, her status as dramatic indie queen weighing on the movie’s other, lighter sections.
Take This Waltz deals with some real stuff. And it deals with a lot of it really well. Polley’s eye for texture (from hardwood floors to the pattern of Margot’s apron) and sense of lived-in detail grounds the film, even if it is in a fictional version of Toronto where streetcars jump across lines and rickshaw jockeys can afford what must be the only unconverted loft space in the city. The film drags after the first hour or so, keen on thoroughly dismantling all the emotional plumbing. When the script isn’t sagging under its own sense of Cohen-esque emotional profundity, though, Take This Waltz is pleasant and, in places, genuinely felt.