Monday, April 23, 2012

Talking Tribeca: Take This Waltz

I’ve had the pleasure this year of screening some selections from this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, which takes place April 18th-29th.

Take This Waltz
Directed by Sarah Polley
Festival Screenings

This drama is the latest film to feature Michelle Williams in what has now become her default role, a relatively quiet, mildly antisocial, unhappy young woman yearning for something in her relatively dull life to satisfy her. A chance vacation encounter with her neighbor, who spends his days jogging people around in a human-drawn carriage, transforms her life completely, and forces her to look inward as she deals with other problems. While Williams’ part is completely expected, two casting choices in the film are quite intriguing. Seth Rogen plays her husband, who, in the course of writing a book about how to cook chicken, cooks chicken every evening, and Sarah Silverman plays her sister-in-law, a recovering alcoholic. The roles played by these two well-known comedians are hardly their usual fare, and though some of their material becomes comic of its own right, this represents a potential turning point for both actors, who deliver effective dramatic performances opposite Williams. The film starts off rather directionless and doesn’t come around to any better focus, and takes a slow approach to a story that could have well been truncated. The characters, however, are layered and well-crafted, and the film is at its best when it lets them show their depth.

See it or skip it? Either way – if it sounds intriguing and you like Williams, make time for it.

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