Tag Archives: Sarah Polley

Take This Waltz

Once again, Sarah Polley exhibits her uncanny ability to rip your heart right out of your ribcage and give it a thorough thrashing. Polley’s second film as director is a tale of a Margot (Michelle Williams) a woman who in Cape Breton mets Daniel (Luke Kirby). They get to know one another en route back to Toronto and opt to share a cab back to their homes. Turns out they’re neighbours in West Queen West, and while they quickly fall for one another, as Margot leaves the cab, she feels the need to inform Daniel that she’s married.

Her husband Lou (Seth Rogen) is a chef working on a cookbook, and invites his very Jewish family over to test out his recipes, and the audience meets his sister Geraldine (Sarah Silverman). A recovering alcoholic, wife, and mother, Geraldine is Margot’s closest confidant. She’s also an eagle-eyed friend and sees the trouble brewing before any other third party. Sadly, Margot and Daniel are falling in love.

Take This Waltz shows very human relationships as these characters struggle with communication issues, and struggle to find happiness in their lives. They don’t know where to go, and Margot doesn’t know how find her happiness. She goes looking for it in another man, but it only amplifies her own inner turmoil, but at least it brings it to the surface to be addressed.

The film is shot beautifully and shows Toronto in a fantastic light. The romantic pool scene between Daniel and Margot is shot so well, that you could watch hours of that footage without getting bored. As Margot and Daniel take the monorail at Lester B. Pearson International Airport, you’re just looking at pure beauty… at an airport. Polley, an accomplished actor, proves once again that her skills as a director is not limited to her work with her performers, but has an all-around skill that is so rewarding to the audience.

Besides a few geographical inconsistencies1 this film is absolutely fantastic. I cannot recommend this any more.

Now I think I’ll go watch her previous film Away From Her and cry some more.

  1. Someone can actually fall asleep on a flight between Montreal and Toronto? Really, you walk from West Queen West to Little Italy and only THEN get on the TTC? Going for a quick coffee in Kensington when there’s tons of coffee shops just west in Parkdale? []

Splice

So, we have Sarah Polley, David Hewlett, and directed by Vincenzo Natali. Hells yeah I’m going to see it.

For the unfamiliar, Sarah Polley is the actress who’s been in everything from The Adventures of Baron Munchausen to Exotica to The Sweet Hereafter to Last Night to eXistenZ to Dawn of the Dead to directing the incredible Away From Her. This woman fills me up with such patriotic joy that I think Chompy McBeaverton is about to cry.   

David Hewlett is best known for his role as Rodney McKay on Stargate Atlantis (and SG-1).

Vincenzo Natali is best known for the incredible horror thriller Cube.

All of those were enough to inspire me to go see this film while it was in theatres. Due to the fact that this is a Canadian film, we all know it will only be in theatres for a short time.

Clive (Adrian Brody) and Elsa (Polley) are scientists, brilliant scientists. They work for a medical researcher creating animal hybrids to find enzymes and shit to cure stuff. Cool? They made this pair of star-crossed lovers who look more like blobs than anything else. They then ask themselves, what if they include human DNA? Secretly they do it.

Splice is a horror film. It’s a monster movie. It’s science fiction. It’s a story about parenthood. It’s a story about mental illness.

The film asks one of the most obvious questions of horror. Who’s the monster? While that might not be the greatest part of the film, it’s at least interesting.

Much like most Canadian films, it has a penchant for weird sex1, which serves the film well.

Like Chloe which I saw the day before, both films take place in Toronto. Unlike Chloe, which is obvious of its love for Toronto, Splice’s setting is only revealed in an offhand mention of the Distillery District.

  1. No snowshoes. []