Sarah Polley’s second feature, Take This Waltz, thoughtfully probes the pitfalls of coupledom and third-party threats. Five years into their marriage, Torontonians Margot (Michelle Williams) and Lou (Seth Rogen) have regressed fully into sexlessness — heat and mystery having been supplanted by baby-talking, bathroom-oversharing, and weirdly aggressive verbal game-playing. For one of her infrequent freelance-writing gigs, Margot leaves their home — a spacious cocoon where cookbook-author Lou perfects chicken dishes in the kitchen — for a quick research trip at a historic site in Nova Scotia. There she meets lean, hungry Daniel (Luke Kirby); seated next to each other on the flight back to TO, sparks fly — particularly when they discover they live across the street from each other.
Take This Waltz wobbles at times with the writer-director’s own credibility-straining choices: Daniel isn’t just a rickshaw driver but also an aspiring painter; signpost dialogue — “I don’t like being in between things,” Margot says of her fear of flight connections — abounds in the film’s first third. But there are enough unexpected delights, such as repurposing “Video Killed the Radio Star” during a critical moment between Margot and Daniel, to keep us interested in their drawn-out, teasing, tantalizing courtship.
Wed., July 25, 8:30 p.m., 2012