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Michelle Williams is a welcome attraction in whatever film she plays in, even “Take This Waltz,” written and directed by Sarah Polley (“Away From Her”). In this one she is cast as Margot, a restless wife who is also a selfish wife, and she performs with her customary gift for plunging deep into the character. But, for me at least, the bottom line is that Margot is a pain in the butt, a woman who doesn’t know a good thing when she has it, and while struggling with uncertainty over a man to whom she becomes newly attracted, doesn’t show much concern for her husband and his feelings. It’s not that a wife doesn’t have the right to consider moving on. It is her manner. Margot acts as if she were the only person in the world who mattered.
Home life in Toronto has settled into routine with Lou (Seth Rogen), who is playful and adoring. There is a lot of good-natured horsing around, but there is obviously a void. One understands Margot’s temptation to seek a more exciting life. It is the film’s focus on her egoism and self-absorbed churnings and yearnings that make her boring.
Temptation comes in the form of Luke Kirby as Daniel, whom she meets on a trip. It turns out that he is a neighbor. Nearness is everything; the proximity is a constant reminder about possibilities as well as dange. It becomes a classic case of romantic threat to a marriage. What should Margot do? Williams gives indecision her all.
There is a side plot involving Lou’s sister Gerladine, who is a basket case and struggling to keep off the sauce in her bout with alcoholism. She is played by Sarah Silverman, and it is intriguing to see comedienne Silverman in such a dramatic role, which she handles deftly.
Perhaps women who have had similar conflicts as those engulfing Margot will sympathize with her. But while Margot was trying to find herself, I lost patience with her and her search, especially as it surged to a climactic conclusion. A Magnolia Pictures release.