9 comments on Take this Waltz (movie review)

*I also considered titling this post Take this Waltz (please! – a movie review).

take-this-waltzI didn’t hate this movie, but we’ve not exactly getting along right now.  At 116 minutes, Take This Waltz is about a half hour too long for the simple reason that it pounds every single idea it’s trying to express into the ground.  Rather than write a conventional review, I feel that I’ll be equally obnoxious and write fake quotes from the movie (or the movie’s crew) that express my frustration.

Hi. I have a focus knob. Perhaps you’d like to turn it?
The movie introduces our primary players with this soft out of focus look that is too short to be stylistic and too long to be anything but annoying and certainly not visually interesting.  Just slide into focus over a few seconds and be done with it or do something interesting with a soft image!  Make up your damn mind!  The movie’s opening screams, “We’re trying to tell the audience that this is art!”  Pretentious much?  The characters even have pretentious names like Geraldine and Margot.  (My apologies to those that share this affliction.)  Even Daniel is Daniel – not Dan, but Daniel.  Yeesh.

“I’m constantly saying one thing but playing the opposite on my face.”
Michelle Williams is forced to do this a lot in the first act… like… a gillion times.  It’s totally frustrating for the audience.  One scene where she did it ten times would have been plenty, but  it just keeps going on and on.

“More like 152 insights into my soul!”
Yeah, then Luke Kirby reads her like a book and says something pretentious and she acts like it’s brilliant.  FRUSTRATING!

“Hey, freak show – what the hell were you doing at Historic where-ever all by yourself?”
Weirdest meet cute ever.  I forget where they actually go in the film, but Luke Kirby seems to be alone.  Can you imagine being a 30 something single man wandering around Colonial Williamsburg by yourself?  Maybe he had a legitimate reason to be there alone like Michelle Williams did, but I can’t remember it.

I’m eating popcorn AND stalking you!
How in the hell did Kirby know Williams would be at a swim aerobics class?  Why is he watching them?  Why is he eating popcorn?  And why is this behavior funny?  I don’t get it.

“We’re in the shower, naked – so we can be HONEST with each other!  There is no other way to be honest!”
Want to watch a group of women shower after a swim aerobics class?  No, you don’t.  Trust me.  No matter how much you think you do, YOU DO NOT.

“Look, here we are in the second act – and, get this – I’m in the same emotional state I was at the beginning of the movie!  That’s why we showed it there!  Now you get it!”
As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, this is my least favorite device in film EVER!  It’s like, you’ve come a long way, baby!  Oh wait, no you haven’t, not at all.  The fact that movie realizes this and changes gears is the film’s saving grace.

“And by the way, I’m cooking because I miss Seth Rogen – I’m not cooking chicken because I’m subtle.  I’m sure you expect subtlety from me at this point in the movie.”
Right, because Seth Rogen always made chicken, so…  Word.  Just.. yeah, word up yo.  Whatever.

“Why did they call Williams when Sara Silverman went missing?”
So Silverman could explain the moral of this tale.  Because clearly, the audience is not getting it and it needs to be spelled out.

If I keep going, we’ll be here for the rest of  our lives, which is what watching this movie often feels like.  This movie weighs a ton.  Take This Waltz sunk the Titanic, not some iceberg.  The film often uses a confessional style of editing (like the stuff you see on vlogs and what not), but in these long, pretentious scenes that are just establishing character (for the hundredth time), it’s exhausting.  Still, the flick has some nice imagery, but the first act is a marathon and it doesn’t need to be. I’m guessing director Sarah Polley and editor Christopher Donaldson were trying to establish atmosphere, but dude, this isn’t exactly a Stanley Kubrick movie, and I think you can establish something with one or two scenes, not five.   But after all of my complaining, I’m still giving Take This Waltz a 6 out of 10, so it might be that Dr. Girlfriend and I are just not the right audience for this particular film and this movie does say something that’s worth saying, they just didn’t do a great job at it.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of CreativeJamie.com, BomberBanter.com and editor in chief of ComicBookClog.com

Posted on August 13, 2013, in movie review and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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