Margot and Daniel meet over the whipping of an adulterer in old Montreal (one of this old-timey reenactment thingies). It’s brief, and it’s awkward, but they’re not exactly displeased to find each other sitting side by side on the plane ride home to Toronto. They’re pithy and flirty with each other, and it seems fairly cracking until the split cab ride home reveals two alarming truths: Daniel (Luke Kirby) is Margot’s neighbour, which prompts Margot (Michelle Williams to hurriedly confess that she is married. Happily. To Lou the cookbook writer (Seth Rogen).
Gem Sarah Polley writes and directs, and through her scenes of mundane domesticity, we see a content and comfortable marriage. The detail in their coupledom, the weird little quirks that pepper their relationship, these things are so specific they feel true. This couple feels solid. But while Margot knows inner contours of Lou’s every thought, Daniel is tantalizingly unknown. It’s hot: both the steaming Toronto summer and the relationship growing between neighbours. Maybe it’s even hotter because they’re trying to be good. Margot’s trying to be married to Lou, who gives her no reason to stray, and yet. And yet Daniel is mysterious and alluring. He’s new. Falling in love is not just about this other person, it’s about seeing your best self through their eyes. Of course Lou still thinks she’s beautiful, but beautiful in the way of a couple who’s been together a long time and hardly notices each other anymore. Beautiful even though he’s seen her bloated, he’s seen her blemished, he’s seen her hangry and petty and wearing sweat pants for 3 days straight. Beautiful in a way that when she’s naked in the shower, he’s more concerned about pranking her than ogling her body. Meanwhile, Daniel is deeply fetishizing her. She’s still a manic pixie girl to him, full of dark corners and intoxicating unavailability.
And here’s the true truth that Sarah Polley eventually gets around to: the grass isn’t greener. Or rather, the grass is greenest where you water it. Don’t take love for granted and don’t mistake novelty for connection. Take This Waltz is bittersweet and filled with melancholy despite having a saturated look about it, with reds that pop and yellows that burn like sunshine. It’s a great little movie that’s depressingly honest – a romance that defies its genre.
Really like this review, makes me think I should check out this film as it seemed to have passed me by a little
Ok, so this is not what I’d expected from the title of the film. I’d come across it then largely overlooked it. I do like Seth Rogen though and the sound of this being bittersweet, and well done rather than too watery, makes it sound like one worth watching. Very concisely reviewed & well written as always! It’s going on my to-watch list 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
Interesting. A movie that goes in a different direction. Nice.
Yeah, I never would have imagined Seth Rogan in ANYthing bittersweet (except he was in Funny People, wasn’t he?) Okay, well, except for that. Definitely interested in this one.
Adultery hardly a favourite subject matter of mine but if it’s Polley I’m interested. A damn fine director of hard to do character dramas.
I enjoyed your review too Jay, I think you got to the guts of it.
Excellent review. And this: “…it’s about seeing your best self through their eyes.” is completely spot on. I say this often!! Honestly, chemistry + someone who truly thinks the world shines out your arse = intoxicating lust/confusion with love/possibly love. Lol
Great review! I really liked this film.
Pingback: ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIESCanadian Content