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Take This Waltz | The Clapper Bored

Take This Waltz

Combining good music with Michelle Williams and some of the best serious/comedy actors in the business was a recipe for total success in the Take This Waltz trailer. I was excited to see it and fully expecting to enjoy it; after all, who doesn’t love a dramedy about infidelity in middle class suburban Canada? Well, it turns out that I’m not as big a fan of that esoteric sub-genre as I expected. Michelle Williams is every bit as luminous as you’d expect form a woman who has become one of the finest screen presences in modern cinema, but she is saddled with a character who is almost unforgivably unsympathetic and whose motivations are muddled and clouded by the writer’s romanticised, bourgeois sensibilities.

Michelle Williams’ housewife is doing some kooky job writing tourist brochures (or something) when she meets Luke Kirby’s handsome rickshaw driver, who happens to be her neighbour. They embark upon an indulgently restrained affair whilst Williams’ relationship with her husband, Seth Rogen, becomes more and more strained. If you are expecting to be able to emotionally invest in Williams’ inner turmoil, as she fights between the husband she loves and the affair she wants to explore, however, you’re are going to be disappointed. She is annoying, cloying and constantly jumping on her husband’s back whilst he is trying to work, with no respect for the fact he has to earn a living. And we are supposed to sympathise with her on a marital level? If we can’t make an investment in her love life then how are we suppose to get on board for the rest of her emotional battles?

There are some things to like. Rogen is very good as the husband, certainly the most likeable of all the parties. Kirby is also good in a role that requires a certain amount of ambiguity. And Williams is still a good actress, even though the character is badly put together. If anything, it’s the writing that lets the film down- opting for pretentious clichés rather than fully formed characters. They’re all writers or chefs or artists and do things like stare at the sea or go on fairground rides or swim in empty pools. Yadda Yadda- it’s all been done before and it’s a shame that a film that could’ve been intelligent feels the need to resort to dull, recycled imagery and dialogue that could’ve come out of any student short film of the last twenty years.

An all round disappointment, Take This Waltz feels like an under cooked meal that had all the ingredients- just crap ones.

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Title: Take This Waltz
Director: Sarah Polley
Starring: Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Sarah Silverman, Luke Kirby
Running Time: Maybe two hours?
Certificate: 15

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