Posted by Alia Haddad on April 24, 2012 at 9:04 am
One of the main reasons I was so excited for this year’s TriBeCa Film Festival was to see Sarah Polley’s new feature film, Take This Waltz. The actress and sometimes director more than proved her skill in the latter, filmmaking category with her Oscar-nominated 2006 feature film debut, Away From Her, which stars Julie Christie as an aging alzheimer’s patient.
Take This Waltz is Polley’s second foray into feature filmmaking, again both writing and directing this film as she did in her debut. Polley spends this film exploring the complexities of a single marriage when a spouse–in this case, the wife–begins to fall in love with another man. And again, as in her first film, what has the possibility of appearing as a trite and insignificant story, under Polley’s detailed and beautifully drafted script and on-point direction transforms into a film that is anything but.
Take This Waltz stars Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, and Luke Kirby in the aforementioned love triangle. Each of the three actors gave realistic performances, marked by their sincerity and emotional ranges. Williams, as she has proven time and again, threw herself into the role so fully that it remains hard for me to separate her from her character until I watch her in some other film when she will undoubtedly transforms so fully once again.
To be honest, as I sat there watching the film, I was convinced within the first ten minutes of my immediate annoyance of the film. Each character seemed to be given such distinct roles and traits (a la Juno or something else like that) that could easily downgrade any film into one that invests in such stock characters. But as the film continued, so did the development of each character, breaking down any stock traits and becoming as dynamic as any real person. The same holds true for the supporting characters, most notable among them, Sarah Silverman who shines so fully in the film that it was almost impossible to recognize her as anything else.
And so, once again I stand by Polley: despite the film’s rocky start, Take This Waltz is surely one of the highlights, if not the main one, at the TriBeCa Film Festival.