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Customer Review

57 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not A Literal Interpretation, January 17, 2013
This review is from: Take This Waltz (DVD)
Take This Waltz is a slow moving quirky movie. There was something unique about this film, something that caught my attention from the first moment.

The film opens with a beautiful song, light quirky words, slightly on the folk side. The opening montage is a set of close ups of Margot making cup cakes. One of the last shots is of her sitting in front of the oven, a man in shorts walks past and the montage ends with an out of focus shot of the man standing in front of a bright window. I describe this very carefully because the film closes with exactly this same series of shots. They are identical, except for one small detail; the man is wearing long pants.

The film then moves to a town on the east coast of Canada where Margot writes the new brochure copy for a Colonial town. A man taunts her to participate in a mock flogging. He ends up sitting next to her on the plane home. Turns out he lives across the street and they share a cab home, as they part ways she says under her breath, "I'm married." Margot is married to Lou, a chef writing a chicken cookbook.

This next paragraph has spoilers in it. If you would rather not know some details, skip this paragraph.
Ultimately, Margot ends up having an affair with Daniel. The literal interpretation of this affair is that she is a horrible person, doing what so many people do. She should be in love with her funny schlub of a husband. Her life is fabulous and she should be happy. Instead she falls for this handsome sexy guy across the street. I contend that there is another way to look at this film. Lou wore shorts a lot in this film. Daniel never wore shorts once, in fact the director made sure we got to see his Capri pants, they were always long pants; even at the beach. Margot never cooks in the whole film; in fact she hates the kitchen. The opening and closing montage style is completely different from the rest of the film. It is an intimate dance with Margot, the close ups of her bare feet moving gracefully. Throughout the film she wears funky sneakers, rarely barefoot. The opening and closing montage say that the affair was a fantasy. If I look back on the film with the idea that the affair was completely in Margot's head, the film takes on a completely different amazing turn. It all makes sense and is powerful.

The film is beautifully made. The interiors are full of stuff, bright colored stuff. Margot wears some of the funkiest unusual clothes. The exteriors portray a Toronto neighborhood so perfectly, open and green. The trips into the city are tight shots with all kinds of activity everywhere. Michelle Williams is absolutely radiant. She is bohemian, wears those unusual clothes perfectly. She as well as Sarah Silverman are never afraid to take off her clothes. They are both beautiful women comfortable with their bodies. Seth Rogan and Luke Kirby are also confident, but both stand to the side to let the women shine. This is a strong cast. I do have one complaint about the Montreal airport, it is not Dorval - the chairs, halls, and doors are all wrong. Given the attention to detail in this film, I'm surprised that slipped in.

The film is almost two hours long. It does move along at about the same slow pace throughout. Frankly, I liked this pace. This isn't an action picture; it is a sort of romance or a slow slide into a fantasy world. I would guess it was too slow for a lot of viewers. This is an R rated film. There are several scenes with full frontal and rear female nudity. There is a scene in the middle of the film where Daniel describes what he wants to do to Margot. It is one of the most sensual scenes I have ever watched where nobody ever took off their clothes or even touched. There is an artistic scene of two people having sex, reasonably well covered. There is some strong language. The film is intended for mature audiences.

This film was less about betrayal and more about what boredom and fantasy will lead people to think. I loved the quirkiness of this film. The soundtrack was perfection. Sarah Silverman and Michelle Williams were amazing. Although slow moving, I was moved by this film.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 16, 2013 11:00:29 AM PDT
Daniel G. Lebryk--I was moved by the film also and was trying to grasp what exactly I could not clarify from it. I first saw your comment under another's review and was hoping you would air this idea out...Thank you.

I am positive that you have the focus of this quirky film right here and I enjoy your writing on it. This definitely makes sense of the things that I could not tie up. A most necessary interpretation of the movie as a whole, Great Job! Sheryl

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2013 11:44:13 AM PDT
Sheryl, Thank you, thank you, thank you. It was a beautiful film.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2014 9:50:49 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 9, 2014 9:51:11 AM PDT
Kelly Carter says:
Thanks for your wonderful and insightful review. I stumbled across this movie on Amazon just now and remembered how much I liked it, and plan to view it again soon. I thought Michelle Williams's performance was absolutely mesmerizing. Early in the movie, when she turns to Daniel and says, "I'm married," her voice, her facial expression, her posture...said so much, and laid the way for the rest of the movie. I replayed that scene maybe a dozen times, it was so powerful. I could harp on her character's immaturity, selfishness, infidelity, etc., all of which I might despise in a real person, but in this fictional story, the character won me over with her despair that surely we all feel at times. Don't we all long for something more, even when we are nominally comfortable in our lives? My memory is so bad that I don't remember many of the finer points of the movie (has been maybe a year since I saw it), but that means upon a second viewing, the movie will seem like new again. Anyhow, for me, this was one of the best movies I've seen in many years.

Posted on Aug 10, 2014 2:03:09 AM PDT
I was just getting ready to write a review on this film, but read yours first. I don't think I could top such a magnificent interpretation of the film. You've done such a brilliant job with this review. Thank you so so much for taking the time to write this! It was such an enjoyable read!

Posted on Oct 31, 2014 6:05:18 PM PDT
Agreed. This film is best enjoyed as an insight into the fantasies of romantic love, and it's accurate. Lovely thoughtful film and a good review. thanks.
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