Take This Waltz (2011)


Imperfection is anything and everything that we ever learn from love.

And Take This Waltz resonates this.

Painting red temptations and regretful hues of blue, Director Sarah Polley takes us on a whim as Margot (Michelle Williams) decides to whether consume an adulterous relationship with her neighbor Daniel (Luke Kirby) in exchange for a five years worth of static married life to Lou (Seth Rogan), a chicken chef.


Here, Polley gives us an emotional roller coaster ride, literally and metaphorically, and abruptly puts an end to the weight presented.

It deals with Margot’s existing mental depression, despite not having much attributes as to why she has it. Her constant state of ennui, childish ways of showing affection, and weariness results to losing grip of their marriage and finds resolve by entertaining attraction outside marriage.

Impeccable acting was displayed from the three main leads. I somehow disliked Williams here, a sign
she was effective, as usual. I just noticed that she seems to be on track of portraying dark roles as I haven’t fully recovered from her Blue Valentine stint just yet. Rogen on the other hand, is a devoted chef who makes his life revolve in his passion: chicken. Towards the end, you’ll notice his habitual actions eventually lead on making his wife feel bored and taken for granted. As for Kirby being the forbidden apple, he effortlessly pulled off the tempting debonair by maintaining his distance yet still making his presence felt. His scene with Williams on the cafe wherein he vividly describes what he would do to her was one of the film’s highlights. It unleashed Kirby’s poetic persona without seeming horny, at all. Sarah Silverman’s portrayal as a struggling alcoholic trying to recover was also noteworthy as she made a pivotal scene with Williams in the last few minutes.

Take This Waltz was full of subtleties and obvious message, both showcased in bold depictions. One example was the shower scene of naked females with ages that vary from old to young –it stroke a definitive line that all new things get old, may it be physical features or emotional needs.

It has a lot of implications and its brave to have the audience choose sides as it tests moral stand. Personally, I’m rooting for Lou here more than anybody else. His dedication to his craft, his language of love for Margot, his practical jokes (shower joke, case in point, was first mind boggling and irritating but it was revealed later on to be heartwarming and heartbreaking,) and his curt dismissal toward the end –all of these points that he is nothing short of a family man.
Thus it brings us a question: Does love means to be happy with someone?

If yes, Lou represents this. He knows what he wants, knows what they need, and is able to think long-term for the both of them. It’s just that, his ways vary from the path Margot wanted to have.

On the flip side: does love means to be with someone despite being miserable?

For this case, credit goes to Margot as she tried as much as she could to prevent crossing her boundaries until she couldn’t contain it anymore.

What I liked about Take This Waltz was that even though it reflects a comeuppance story, it made an effort not to sound preachy. Unlike other movies which seem to think they need to end by drawing a line between black and white, this movie did no such thing. Just like the titular Leonard Cohen song which is both depressing and moving, Take This Waltz showed that real feeling wins in the end but as with the matters of technicality on whether who’s happy or not, is up to the viewer.

Rating: 8/10


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