Take This Waltz [Blu-Ray] Sarah Polley

Take This Waltz [Blu-Ray] Sarah Polley
Amidst the discussions on the extremely comprehensive 40-minute "making of" supplement included with the Blu-Ray of Sarah Polley's astutely rendered sophomore directorial outing, Take this Waltz, she discusses the nature of "happily ever after" as a mass cultural misnomer. Beyond the delusion that finding romantic companionship and embracing nascent passion as a presumably everlasting otherworldly phenomena, she notes the personal growth and maturity that stem from the actualization of relationship complexity post-infatuation. Much like the desirable hypnosis of the more metaphorically convenient application of travel as physical escape from the self, this deceptively simple ― read: thematically brilliant ― take on an affair as adult coming-of-age ritual is a reflection of the self remaining static, albeit more self-aware, once the fantastical concept of desire wears off. Here, the (mostly) happily married Margot (Michelle Williams) suffers the inevitability of emptiness in imperfection. Married to the kind, but simpler Lou (Seth Rogen), she feels that her lack of lasting passion and the quotidian banality of it all suggest there's something wrong or missing amidst their typically content domestic partnership. Sometimes playful and sometimes contradictory, their relationship is like many in its habitual machinations and mutual understandings, as well as its unspoken frustrations. This is why Margot is so taken by the fire and unpredictable nature of her flirtation with artist neighbour Daniel (Luke Kirby), seeing as he challenges her, or at least makes her laugh, in ways that Lou has long been unable to. Polley's sharp observations of individual character traits and minor idiosyncrasies are what make this slow-burning character piece so devastating and effective. All flawed, each player has a complex tapestry of motivations that isn't specifically driven by a theme, or adherence to what each other needs. Sometimes they complement each other and other times they are on completely different pages. But what proves powerful and lasting is her trajectory of the comfortable quotidian being inevitable. Whether it's an amusement park ride coming to an end or an impassioned discussion, everything eventually returns to the reality of us being ourselves no matter what the scenario or context, meaning that the excitement of a new romantic partner is little more than an addiction to carnal thrill. This concept is mirrored by the presence of Sarah Silverman, who, in addition to being Lou's sister and Margot's confidante, is a recovering addict. This candid observation, much like the intense truth of the entire film, packs a punch that's hard to shake off. Even a year after first watching this, I still routinely revisit the feeling it gave, and continues to give, me. (Mongrel Media)