Marriage. Comfort. Boredom. Insecurity. Infidelity. No-one would argue that romantic adult relationships can be a minefield, and Sarah Polley has made them the focus of her sophomore directorial effort, Take This Waltz.
Margot (Michelle Williams) and Lou (Seth Rogen) are five years into a comfortable marriage. They are childlike together, subsisting on an emotional diet of baby-talk and silly in-jokes. But when Margot meets her handsome new neighbour Daniel, she gradually becomes aware of another life she could be living, and the possibility of passion, sex and escape is overwhelming.
In theory, this should be very watchable stuff, but the problem with Take This Waltz is its sheer implausibility. Williams is a fine actress, but her pairing with Rogen never seems quite right. The characters live absurdly beyond their means, and the chance encounters between Margot and Daniel are so unlikely (and unnecessary) that they are distracting. But if you can overlook these failings, you will see a film that certainly looks the goods – the sweltering Toronto backdrop is a perfect metaphor for Margot’s feelings of claustrophobia – and a director who is clearly an adventurous and skilful filmmaker. (KSo) **1/2