Take This Waltz

Take This Waltz

DVD Rating: ***1/2

Reviewed by: Anton Bitel

Read Amber Wilkinson's film review of Take This Waltz

Sarah Polley's Take This Waltz is, according to its writer/director, "a film about desire... how delicious it feels", but also, according to stars Michelle Williams (Margot) and Seth Rogen (Lou) about "emptiness and lostness" - while Sarah Silverman (Geraldine) calls it "the feel-bad movie of the year", before laughing and insisting, "It's not!"

So Taking The Waltz, the making-of featurette that accompanies this DVD release, captures the carefully modulated contradictions of a film half-populated with dramatic actors (Williams, Luke Kirby) and half-populated with comic actors (Rogen, Silverman). Commenting on her character, Williams says: "I think of her as Sleeping Beauty, I think of her as Anna Karenina, I think of her as Charlie Chaplin." That may sound like a lot of genres – and more than one gender – but it will make good sense to anyone who has seen the film, a sort of coming-of-age anti-fairytale about the 'happily ever after' period of a relationship.

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Polley claims she had always admired the depth that Rogen brought to his comic roles, which is why she cast him, very much against type, as an ordinary, settled husband (and as the character with whom she herself most readily identified) – while Silverman, too, is openly grateful for having a part written for her that was not all the usual "shit jokes and profanity" which have come to define her on-screen persona. All claim that Polley's own experience as an actress makes her very much an actor's director, right down to an intense 30-day on-set rehearsal period before production started.

Meanwhile, director of photography Luc Montpellier says that he was closely involved right from Polley's first draft, making him feel "like an actor learning his lines". Montpellier exploited a lot of natural light, using a small, portable DSLR for more intimate shots and a bigger camera for what he calls "poetry". Polley concludes that she wants her viewers to be uncertain about what they think of Margot's decisions and conduct: "To me the only truth is an ambiguity – I think we're all kind of figuring it out as we go along."

Reviewed on: 08 Jan 2013
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Take This Waltz packshot
A romantic drama about a young woman torn between the man she has and the man she wants.
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Product Code: OPTD2419

Region: 2

Ratio: 1.85:1

Sound: 2.0 PCM/DTS HD master

Extras: Taking The Waltz featurette, trailer, audio description, SDH subs

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