TAKE THIS WALTZ Ein Film von Sarah Polley
mit Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Luke Kirby, Sarah Silverman Kanada/Spanien/Japan 2011 116 Minuten · 1:1.85 Internationale Premiere Toronto 2011
Deutsche Premiere Hamburg 2012 Nachpremiere Cologne Conference 2012 www.TakeThisWaltz-Film.de
ärz 2013 Ab 29. M
im Verleih von
Margaretenstraße 78 1050 Wien [email protected]
Tel.: 01 - 581 39 00 - 20 Pressebetreuung: Sonja Celeghin [email protected]
Tel.: 0680 55 33 593
INHALT Margot (Michelle Williams), 28, ist glücklich verheiratet mit Kochbuchautor Lou (Seth Rogen). Denkt sie. Bis sie im Flugzeug auf Lebenskünstler Daniel trifft, der sich als aufmerksamer Nachbar entpuppt – und sie plötzlich nicht mehr weiß, was sie denken und fühlen soll. Als sich dann noch herausstellt, dass Daniel schräg gegenüber wohnt, treffen sie sich häufiger. Wie Diebe stehlen sie sich gemeinsame Momente aus dem märchenhaften Sommer in Toronto und bald steht Margot vor der Frage: Soll sie an der Geborgenheit des Gewohnten festhalten oder dem Kitzel des Neuen nachgeben? TAKE THIS WALTZ ist eine hinreißende, bittersüße Komödie, die einen frischen Blick auf das uralte Problem wirft, ob und wie man eine Beziehung auf Dauer aufrecht erhalten kann.
PRESSESTIMMEN Michelle Williams verkörpert diese Frau, wie ich noch keine Schauspielerin eine Frau verkörpern gesehen habe! WIM WENDERS Umwerfend! THE GUARDIAN Ein romantisches Meisterwerk - der schönste Film, den ich dieses Jahr sehen durfte! L´EXPRESS Maximale Spannung, Humor und emotionale Vielschichtigkeit - und überragend gespielt von Michelle Williams und Seth Rogen! VARIETY “Williams übertrifft vielleicht sogar noch ihre starke Leistung in BLUE VALENTINE!” SIGHT AND SOUND Ungezwungen, süß und romantisch - und sehr verführerisch und erotisch! YAHOO MOVIES
“TAKE THIS WALTZ ist eine freimütige, sexy, freche Komödie mit ernsten Untertönen, die das frauenzentrierte Beziehungsdrama auf erstaunlich neues Gelände führt; eine ehrgeizige, aufregende Achterbahnfahrt mit einer Heldin, die vielleicht die richtige, vielleicht die falsche Wahl trifft und wie wir alle in der Falle zwischen dem Wirklichen und dem Möglichen, dem Was-ist und dem Was-hätte-sein-können steckt!” ANDREW O’HEHIR, SALON.COM “Ein nüchterner, großzügiger Film über die Liebe!” TIME OUT
SARAH POLLEY ÜBER DEN FILM TAKE THIS WALTZ beginnt mit Hitze. Margot bäckt Muffins in der Schwüle eines Sommers in Toronto. Der Ofen strahlt Hitze ab, durch das Fenster fällt Sonnenlicht, und wenn sich Margot an den Ofen lehnt, wird der Film zu einem sinnlichen Erlebnis. TAKE THIS WALTZ ist der zweite Spielfilm von der Regisseurin Sarah Polley nach einem eigenen Drehbuch. Ihr Debütfilm AWAY FROM HER war die zärtliche Geschichte eines Paares im Winter ihres Ehelebens, TAKE THIS WALTZ zeigt nun ein jüngeres, erst seit wenigen Jahren verheiratetes Paar dabei, wie es den Frühling des Verliebtseins hinter sich lässt, um sich in einem warmen, von Liebe erfüllten gemeinsamen Leben einzurichten – so jedenfalls sollte es sein. Die Geschichte ist in Polleys Heimatstadt Toronto angesiedelt, und sie gibt gern zu, die Stadt zu romantisieren. Also spielt das Geschehen auf den Bürgersteigen und Stränden, die sie jeden Tag entlanggeht. Der Titel des Film, TAKE THIS WALTZ, rührt von einem Lied von Leonard Cohen, der das Gedicht KLEINER WIENER WALZER von Frederico Garcia Lorca übersetzte und vertonte, der 1936 im Spanischen Bürgerkrieg ermordet wurde. Now in Vienna there’s ten pretty women. There’s a shoulder where Death comes to cry. There’s a lobby with nine hundred windows. There’s a tree where the doves go to die. “Die Verse sind so tragisch und romantisch”, sagt Polley. „Man versteht sie nie wirklich, aber tief innen, auf der Gefühlsebene, ergeben sie vollkommen Sinn. Ich habe das Lied beim Drehbuchschreiben die ganze Zeit angehört und sie haben den Ton dessen beeinflusst, was ich zu erreichen hoffte.“
Lou ist der gute Ehemann, zuverlässig in seiner Zuneigung und geerdet durch seine Arbeit in der Küche, wo er sich fleißig durch Hühnchenrezepte werkelt. Margot dagegen ist wie ein Zephyr, der von den Eingebungen anderer wie von einer Sturmbö erfasst wird. Seite an Seite tun sie alles, was von jungen städtischen Paaren erwartet wird, und bewegen sich auf die Zukunft zu. Lou zufrieden – und Margot, weil sie seine Frau ist. Für Polley ist diese Eröffnungsszene in der Küche - gemütlich, aber langweilig und fast beklemmend, friedlich, aber auch ruhelos – wie eine Bücherstütze für den Film: „Ich beginne und beende den Film mit dieser Szene, auch wenn dazwischen sehr viel passiert“, so Polley. „Ich wollte einen Film über Begehren machen; keinen philosophischen Essay, sondern darin eintauchen, um zu fühlen, wie herrlich es ist, und wie schwierig es für uns menschliche Wesen ist, diesem Gefühl entweder einfach den Rücken zu kehren oder aber mit der Ur-Lücke zu leben, die es schafft. Ich wollte zeigen, wie jemand versucht, diesem grundsätzlichen Zustand zu entkommen, und wie das nicht immer klappt.“ In vielerlei Hinsicht ist TAKE THIS WALTZ ein Film über das Erwachsenwerden einer Frau in ihren späten Zwanzigern, für die sich der Schleier endgültig lüftet, der die Realität von Romantik und Beziehungen verhüllt, und die Leere offenbart, die bewältigt werden muss. „Für Frauen wie Margot, und die meisten mir bekannten Frauen in ihren 30ern, kommt der Punkt, wo ihnen klar wird, dass die Märchen über „Sie lebten glücklich bis ans Ende ihrer Tage“-Beziehungen, die man ihnen als Kind erzählt hat, nicht ganz wahr sind. Wenn man Glück hat, ist da eine große Liebe, aber davon abgesehen – woher weiß man, ob eine Beziehung ‚falsch‘ ist oder Brauchen/Fehlen/Begehren einfach nur zu den Komplikationen des Lebens dazugehört?
Es ist nicht so einfach. Vielleicht bist du in einer Beziehung hauptsäch- Ich verstehe, warum er Gespräche vermeiden möchte. Von außen betrachtet lich glücklich, aber auch traurig oder wütend – und niemand bereitet ist es ja ganz offensichtlich, dass es besser wäre, das Problem anzusprechen, aber wenn man in einer engen Beziehung lebt, macht einem nichts mehr uns darauf vor.“ Angst als zuzugeben, dass es etwas Unüberwindbares geben könnte“, erläuDie Realität der Gefühle in einer Beziehung wird noch komplizierter tert Polley. durch den allgegenwärtigen Befehl zum Glücklichsein, der sich durch unser Leben zieht. Massenhaft Beziehungsratgeber in Büchern, Für Margot ist die Ehe nicht genug, aber für Polley lautet die eigentliche FraZeitschriften und im Web diktieren, welches Niveau von Glück wir mit ge: „Ist je etwas wirklich genug? Ich wünsche mir den ganzen Film über, unseren Partnern erleben sollten: Werden Deine Bedürfnisse erfüllt? dass man nicht weiß, was Margot tun sollte, und dass die Zuschauer von Könnt ihr miteinander reden? Lacht ihr noch? Macht es euch noch ihrem eigenen Leben her entscheiden. Der Film ist ausgesprochen zweiSpaß, miteinander allein zu sein? Könnt ihr noch über kleinere Ärger- deutig. Ich hoffe, dass Menschen, die eine schale Beziehung hinter sich nisse hinwegsehen? „Wir leben in einer Kultur, für die es nicht in gelassen haben und damit zufrieden sind, das Gefühl haben, dass der Ordnung ist, wenn in einer Beziehung etwas fehlt. Man sagt uns, Film ihnen Recht gibt. Und dass andererseits diejenigen, die der Versudass man das in Ordnung bringen kann, und dass es ein Fehler sei, es chung widerstanden haben und ihre Beziehung nicht aufgegeben haben, nicht zu tun.“ Die Zeit der Flitterwochen ist für Margot und Lou vorüber. auch glauben, dass der Film ihre Wahl bekräftigt!“ Die Szene ihres fünften Jubiläumsdinners im Restaurant, bei der sie „Wir haben Bedürfnisse. Wir brauchen etwas. Und wir begehren. Das geum ein Gespräch ringen, unterstreicht das auf ergreifende Weise. hört zu uns. Und wenn wir das Ersehnte erlangen, tut sich unvermeidlich die Wie Robert Louis Stevenson schrieb, werden die grausamsten Lügen nächste Lücke auf. Ich finde, dass diese Figuren es gut meinen und ihr Bestes schweigend ausgesprochen. „Es gibt sehr wenige Paare, die nach geben, aber manchmal ist ihr Bestes für die anderen nicht gut genug – wie im Jahren immer noch vollkommen fasziniert voneinander sind“, wirklichen Leben.“ so Polley. „Wenn man jemanden gut kennt, ist es schwer, noch so begeistert von seiner Gegenwart zu sein.“ Margot bewältigt das mit „Das Leben hat fantastische Augenblicke des Absoluten, und die sollte man etwas seltsamen, launenhaft wechselnden Verhaltensweisen, die von wirklich genießen. Ich glaube, dass jede Entscheidung zwei Seiten hat, und selten ist eine Entscheidung eindeutig richtig oder falsch. ManchEiapopeia und Wortgefechten bis zu oberflächlichem Sex reichen. mal kann es sich so an-fühlen, und das sind Momente, die herausragen. Aber Lou, der sich abmüht, nach ihren Regeln mitzuspielen, wählt den pas- eigentlich schlagen wir uns alle einfach so durch. Man weiß nie, wie so eine siven Ansatz. „Er glaubt, dass etwas vielleicht einfach vorübergeht, Entscheidung ausgehen wird, also weiß man nie, was richtig wäre. Für mich ist Zweideutigkeit die einzige echte Wahrheit.“ wenn man es nicht direkt anspricht.
Sarah Polley (*1979) arbeitet als Schauspielerin, Regisseurin und Drehbuchautorin. Sie spielte in mehreren Filmen von Atom Egoyan mit, sowie in Filmen von David Cronenberg, Michael Winterbottom und Wim Wenders. 2006 gab die Kanadierin ihr allseits gefeiertes Regiedebüt mit AWAY FROM HER (AN IHRER SEITE). TAKE THIS WALTZ ist ihr lang erwarteter zweiter Film.
MICHELLE WILLIAMS ÜBER DEN FILM Als die Geschichte anfängt, ist Margot (28) eine Autorin, die noch nicht viel geschrieben hat. Ihr Mann ist ein Koch, der Rezepte für ein Hühnchenkochbuch entwirft. Lou, der aus einer soliden Familie mit großem Zusammenhalt kommt, ist lieb und bewundernswert. „Lou gibt ihr das Gefühl, gut aufgehoben zu sein“, so Williams. „Bei ihm fühlt sie sich sicher, behaglich und ein bisschen schläfrig. TAKE THIS WALTZ beschreibt Margot an der Schwelle von einem Mädchen, wo alles sicher ist, zu einer Frau, wo es keine Sicherheiten mehr gibt. Es ist, als würde sie versuchen, an etwas festzuhalten, das ihr entgleitet – unbewusst natürlich.“ Williams, die zweimal für den Oscar nominiert wurde, neigt eher dazu, ihre Rollen mit dem Gefühl zu erfassen als sie zu intellektualisieren. Beim Zusammenspiel mit Seth Rogen spürte sie intuitiv, wie sich diese beiden Figuren zueinander verhalten. „Als ich ihn und sein Spiel erlebte, dachte ich bei mir ‚Wie könnte ich je diese Ehe aufgeben? Er ist ja so liebenswert!‘ Aber wenn man die Welt von Margots Standpunkt aus betrachtet, fragt sie sich, ob das Leben an ihr vorbei geht und sie vielleicht etwas verpasst. Margot ist in der Klemme. Sie tut nicht ganz das, was sie tun will. Sie schreibt nicht genau das, was sie schreiben möchte.“ Zufriedenheit kann so trügerisch sein wie Begehren. Als Daniel auftaucht, ist das nach Williams wie ein Adrenalinstoß für Margot. „Ich glaube, dass das Sich-Verlieben in der westlichen Kultur einer religiösen Erfahrung am nächsten kommt,“ gesteht sie. „Eine so sanfte Sache, die ein solches Chaos in deinem Leben anrichtet und deine Werte und moralischen Überzeugungen durcheinander bringt.“
Das war sicher die Rechtfertigung, mit der sich Margot motivierte, aber ob sie real war oder einfach real genug für sie, ist die Frage, denn Daniel wird zum Träger ihrer Hoffnungen und Träume und ihres Ehrgeizes. „Daniel ist der Ort, wo sie damit hin kann,“ so Williams. Hier bewahrheitet sich die Magie des Schauspielens, denn die Schauspielerin und ihre Figur nehmen sich die Freiheit der Mehrdeutigkeit, die Polley ins Buch geschrieben hat, und bewegen sich damit optimistisch voran. Williams mochte es nicht in Worte fassen, wie Margot ihre endgültige Entscheidung trifft. Lieber sagt sie: „Möchte sie mehr oder hakt sie es unter etwas Sexuellem ab, das sie mit Daniel entdecken möchte? Ich hoffe, dass sie ihrem Herzen folgt, ihrem besten, nobelsten Herzen. Wir wissen nicht, ob es ein Fehler ist oder nicht.“ Die Frage ist, ob es je jemand weiß. „Margot hat sich langsam in mir entwickelt. Für mich ist Margot am Anfang naiv. Erst habe ich mich gefragt, ob sie jemand sei, der im Leben noch nichts Schlimmes passiert ist und diese Trennung vielleicht die erste Erfahrung mit ihrem Schatten-Selbst ist. Vielleicht war das ihr erstes Abenteuer. Aber inzwischen denke ich, dass sie nicht ganz naiv ist – aber sie hat eine gewisse Weltfremdheit, so dass sie durch diese Erfahrung verwandelt wird. Das ist eine gute Sache, aber die Verwandlung geschieht durch Feuer, und das tut weh.“ Über ihr Verhältnis zu Sarah Polley erzählt Williams: „Hier ging wirklich ein Traum in Erfüllung. Ich sagte Sarah: Weißt du, was ich beim Spielen manchmal mache, schon bevor ich dich kannte? Ich mache „WWSPT – Was würde Sarah Polley tun?“ Du kennst das ja, man ist beim zehnten Take eine Szene und hat noch immer keinen Zugang gefunden, nichts klickt und man ruft die Götter um Hilfe an? Einer meiner Tricks ist „Wie würde Sarah Polley diese Szene spielen, was würde sie tun?““
Dieser Respekt wird erwidert. Sarah Polley: „Ich finde, dass Michelle die größte Schauspielerin ihrer Generation ist, und das ist keine Übertreibung. Durch die Arbeit mit ihr habe ich den Unterschied zwischen gutem und großartigen Schauspielern gelernt: große Darsteller überraschen nicht nur ihren Regisseur und ihr Publikum, sie überraschen sich selbst. Irgendetwas an ihrer Figur überrumpelt sie mitten im Take und ihr Spiel dreht ein bisschen in eine unglaubliche, unvorhergesehene Richtung ab.“ Williams‘ Spiel war so überragend, dass Polley die von ihr geschaffene Figur besser als zuvor verstand und Margot erlauben konnte, ihre emotionale Reise weiter voranzutreiben. „Michelle hat so viel Weisheit und Poesie, da ist es schwer, eine Figur an einem Ort zu halten, wenn Michelle sie spielt!“
SETH ROGEN ÜBER DEN FILM In the chicken-egg world of deciding to take a role because of the script or because of the director, Seth Rogen had not read Take This Waltz before meeting Sarah Polley on the set of The Green Hornet. “She came to LA and told me about the film. She was so nice and so cool. I’d actually been a big fan of hers for a long time, both as an actor and director. And then I read it and thought it was really awesome and very well written, much better written than I can write,” Rogen laughed at his admission. “So I was very thrilled to do it, and yeah, I was very excited.” Rogen, who tends to think of everything in terms of humour, regards the perspective of his character as amusing. Lou is, for the most part, completely unaware of what is happening around him. “For Lou, Take This Waltz is a movie about a guy who writes a chicken cookbook and then finds out his wife is cheating on him. It’s kind of funny that my character is just not that emotionally involved.” Rogen is more familiar with cynical characters who are in on the action, albeit not necessarily in the brightest way possible. But he played Lou “as comfortable. He’s just making his chicken and everything is fantastic.” “I did draw on my Dad a little for this role, honestly,” he admitted. “My Dad does a thing where he talks with his eyes closed, so I did that a few times.” But getting back to the chicken, Rogen viewed it as, “Slightly symbolic for a guy who’s aspiring to do something, but not something that’s incredibly exciting or daring. Chicken is the middle ground of meat. It’s a good metaphor for the relationship. It’s good, but it’s not the most exciting thing in the world.” What was exciting was the prep. “I can confidently say I did more research for this movie than any movie I’ve ever done, except maybe Pineapple Express. You learn little things from movies, like how to ride a motorcycle or shoot an AK-47. But for Waltz, I spent a lot of time learning how to cut up chickens. I had chefs coming to my house in LA and they’d leave me dozens of chickens. I’d cut them up and cook them in different ways, but I would mostly just cut them up. I’d also watch a lot of cooking shows, like Top Chef, and steal the way they do stuff.”
Rogen was so into his prep, he started having chicken dreams, but confused his chicken-sized Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for the food. “That was weird.” That said, his wrap gift from the film crew was a magnificent set of carving knives. All reports indicate the dog remains in good health. While Sarah Silverman, who played Lou’s sister, Geraldine, was dreading the naked shower scene, Rogen had to deal with the scene which has come to be known as ‘The Storm.’ It is when Lou faces the truth about the state of their marriage. “It was pretty brutal, but we did it.” Scene 102 1 4/8 of a page. Closed set 2.5 hours of continuous close-ups on Seth “It was about emptiness and emotional lost-ness and a void. When I look at comedy, I can feel if it’s funny or not. But when it’s all based on nuanced emotional moments, it’s a lot harder to gauge whether or not I’m doing a good job. In some ways, I thought it was a lot harder than comedy.” “The entire scene was primarily scripted with a healthy blend of ad-lib,” said Cinematographer Luc Montpellier. “Sarah only stopped to reload the camera every half hour or so. Only key crew remained on set to give Seth space to breathe.” “This scene was all on his strong shoulders,” said Williams. “The camera was not on me, so I was improvising off camera, but he was doing it all on camera. Leading up to this, Seth and I had found a nice rhythm together. It’s nothing we had planned on, but just accidentally Sarah would keep the camera rolling after a take and that became a habit that at the end of each scene. I had my crash course in improv on Blue Valentine, so I’ve gotten more comfortable with it. But Seth rewards your efforts with his hardy laugh. He’s just such a deeply generous guy.” “Seth is such an easy-going person,” Polley declared. “I’ve never encountered anyone that comfortable in his own skin. He’s got this light touch about being in the world that I envy so much. He happens to be really funny, but everything I have seen him in, he has always done extraordinary acting. From the moment I wrote Lou, (the character I identify with the most) I always knew it was Seth.”
LUKE KIRBY ÜBER DEN FILM Luke Kirby first met Sarah Polley in 2002 when they both starred in Peter Wellington’s film Luck. “Now she’s the boss,” he said. “And it’s incredibly lovely. I have a very strong sense with Sarah that if she isn’t feeling that we have gotten to where we want to be in a scene, she won’t relent, she won’t settle. I feel a sense of trust and it’s exhilarating. She’s like a very strong little bird in a breadbasket who you’d like to take with you on your picnic. She’s very calm and grounded and present. Those qualities are exceptional. There’s no concern of being embarrassed because of whatever truth she carries.” Playing Daniel just felt right to Kirby. Daniel is an artist, a solitary man who finances his art life by pulling a rickshaw. Once he meets Margot, everything changes. “The relationship between them is a force too strong to even acknowledge any question of integrity. He knows she is married, but there’s not enough space for him to think about it, and he’s not blind to the spark. It’s too exciting. It feels too good to stop and assess because of the game they are play-ing which, for the most part, is unconscious – that is until the depth of it and the reality of it hits, which it does, heavily. It seems free at first, but there is a price tag. It is too frightening to acknowledge that there may be some kind of loss.” There was a happy ease for Kirby moving into playing this role and that had a lot to do with the extensive rehearsal time allotted prior to shooting. “I enjoyed the process mostly for the environment Sarah created, putting us all together. I was very happy just being in a room with Sarah and Michelle and having the space to play and not being at the behest of time constraints,” he said. The rehearsals included everything - except the martini scene.
57 INT CAFE/BAR – AFTERNOON They sit facing each other - untouched martinis in front of them. DANIEL Drink. MARGOT You drink. DANIEL You first. MARGOT I don‘t want to get drunk with you. DANIEL I‘m impressed by your consistency. MARGOT I want. DANIEL You want. MARGOT I want to know... She looks up, bright red. MARGOT (CONT’D) I want to know what you‘d do to me.
This scene, which continues on to become brazenly explicit, in spite of both actors remaining in public and fully dressed, was a moment of Machiavellian directing. “It was the first time those actors has spent much time with those lines and it was shot on the very first day right after lunch. I think it helped that there was real embarrassment and real awkwardness about that. And yes, I did that deliberately,” Polley stated. “The martini scene anchored something deep between those two,” said Kirby, “and that only came up in the doing of it. We were vulnerable that day, but it all feels so vulnerable, always. I couldn’t ask for anyone better to play with in this regard. Michelle is entirely there. It’s very easy to smile with her. When I first read the script, I thought, they sure laugh a lot. And it’s very rare that you read ‘laughter’ written into a script and it‘s everywhere. And I thought it could be difficult, but it wasn’t.” When asked about working with Kirby, Williams said, “Each time I’m worried about a scene and how I’m going to approach it, I was comforted when I looked into Luke’s eyes and realized, ‘Oh, I can just relate to what he’s offering me.’” It was this very point that caused Polley to say that Kirby did an incredible job of making that role into a lot more than she originally imagined. “Luke has played eccentric characters, but there is a striking purity and a kindness to him.” Daniel’s art is that of Balint Zsako, crisp in contrast to the humid palette of Margot’s life, sug-gestive, in the spirit of both Inuit art and Aubrey Beardsley’s erotica, again contrasting the submerged sexuality of Margot’s existence. A native of Budapest, now living in New York, Zsako works in several media: collage, sculpture, photography and machines, but for Take This Waltz, Polley selected his bright water colours of surreal almost mystical hybrids of humanity rendered with exaggerated sexual and fertile qualities. Kirby did spend some time with the artist in New York. “His work is quite stunning, very beautiful and sensual without being crass. As a person, he was very giving in terms of welcoming me into his home, sharing his process and his work.” There was one distinct point of overlap between the real artist and the character in the film - both are hesitant about showing their work and Zsako was surprised that Daniel shared the portrait with Margot. Kirby could only explain it by way of the script when Daniel says to Margot, ‘There was something about your face that made me want to start talking to people again.’”
SARAH SILVERMAN ÜBER DEN FILM “I’d never get read for a part like this,” Sarah Silverman pronounced upfront. Unquestionably, the role of Geraldine is casting against type in the extreme and it is an unabashed masterstroke on the part of both Polley and casting director John Buchan. Silverman elaborated, “Usually when I’m told that someone had me in mind for a part, it’s vulgar and it has shit jokes and it’s gross. It must be what I put out there, but I don’t see myself like that. But when I read this, I got choked up because I couldn’t believe someone would see me this way. I see myself able to play drama. But we put people in boxes and can’t see outside of it, but Sarah did. It was so nice. And I’m so grateful for this.” Geraldine is Lou’s sister. She is also a recovering alcoholic. While Margot is surrounded by the comfort of Lou’s sprawling family, Geraldine is the only one with whom she shares any perso-nal thoughts. “Margot is like a little sister to Geraldine, although she does view Margot in the context of protecting Lou’s happiness. I also think there’s a self-centeredness in both charac-ters where they’re connecting but only because they’re getting something that they need or giving something that they need to give. Like many friendships, theirs is like two islands in a way - Geraldine has her own shit and she’s seeing everything around her in relation to her own shit, and so is Margot,” explained Silverman.
And to be working with Polley, Silverman declared, “So many directors, great directors, direc-tors I love, are fully socially retarded. Sarah actually isn’t. She has a plan, knows exactly what she wants, and knows how to manipulate exactly how to get it in a way that makes you, the actors and me, feeling like “Oh my God, I’m amazing in this!” instead of shells of ourselves.” “Sarah Silverman is my favourite living performer and has been for years,” stated Polley. “You know the “If you could have dinner with one person in the world, who would that be?” que-stion? For the last five years, the answer has always been Sarah Silverman. The moment her name was suggested by John Buchan, it was all hands on deck to get her. As much as I knew she was going to be fantastic in this part, nothing could have prepared me for how complica-ted and nuanced and strange and beautiful her work was. It was such a joy to watch her work.”
The part of Geraldine is that of the proverbial Greek chorus, the wisest character in the film even if her life is a bit of a mess. The key to this wisdom is the cross she bears throughout the film, her alcoholism.“ That state of needing, wanting and won’t survive unless you have it’ is something that an addict is very familiar with,” continued Polley, “and they understand what a trap it can be, what an illusion. The rest of us struggle to understand this in increments. As a result, Geraldine recognizes in Margot the qualities of needing a drug, except in Margot’s case love and filling emptiness are more organic to her life. Geraldine tried in vain to fill the emptiness as well - she just does it with something else.” The progression of shifting from comedy to drama is a subject of perpetual interest to viewers because the funny-actor-turned-serious-actor has to convincingly take audiences, and their previous conceptions, along for the ride. Silverman is adamant that the key to the transition is honesty in performance. “To me, Seth Rogen is the marker of where comedy started being played very real. It was like the anti-Ace Ventura (which was great when it came out). It’s just playing it real and letting the moments be funny. So watching Seth go from comedy to drama is seamless because he’s just playing the lines very naturally in both cases. There’s no difference.” Rogen wasn’t quite as convinced. “With comedy, for me, you develop a pretty good gauge of whether it is funny or not. The kind of comedy that we generally have done is naturalistic, conversational, which means it’s not like completely based on call-and-response. But I also thought that when you find out what’s happening to Lou and to Margot, it’s very impactful and there are a lot of really interesting moments that I’d never really seen in a movie before. More than anything, Sarah [Polley] really seemed to think I was going to help her movie a lot and that to me was the most important thing.”
EINE OBSTSCHALE – BILDREGISSEUR LUC MONTPELLIER ÜBER DEN FILM Polley brought producer Susan Cavan and Luc Montpellier, her Director of Cinematography, with whom she worked on Away From Her, in after the first draft of the script. “As the project evolved, Sarah folded her key creative people into the process so her vision became a shared vision. In the case of Luc, alone, he was brought in far earlier than cinematographers are normally engaged. She is meticulous in her planning, and she and the actors had extensive rehearsals - often right on the sets the scenes were to take place. That kind of comprehensive familiarity allows for improvisation, such as with the party scene which was heavily choreo-graphed, but still had a looseness and imperfection that produced a very creative result,” said Cavan. Polley has indeed turned imperfection into an art form. “You could walk out of this film and feel quite good about yourself because you don’t know and are unsure, are imperfect and unfinished and have grafted your own experiences onto any one of the characters. It happens subtly throughout the film, and you come out breathless.” “One of the first mandatory attributes of the film, in addition to the “bowl of fruit” motif, was that Sarah declared it be shot at the height of the summer in sweaty, hot downtown Toronto,” said Montpellier. And after two consecutive summers of cool and wet weather, the jet stream shifted north, allowing warm air from the Gulf to flow at record-breaking levels. Muggy, soaring temperatures were capped off by Hurricane Earl, which made landfall in Nova Scotia, the film’s second location, just after 35 days of principal photography wrapped. In an effort to create a visual language for the film, Polley and Montpellier, with the contribution from a graphic artist, Jessica Reid, began trading images among themselves. “There were a lot of summer city images, paintings with a tremendous amount of chroma in them, a lot of primary colours and night images. On a subconscious level, we always picked images with some kind of wetness to them where you could feel the heat within the frames,” recalled Mont-pellier. “In the end, this is what the film ended up having which is quite a victory when your original intention is actually reflected in the film.” All the creative and visual decisions came from the characters, an organic design strategy which is a function of bringing the creative team in early in the process. “Margot and Lou live together in a wonderful life,” Montpellier continued, “but there is something slightly missing in their relationship. So the world of colour and warmth is a celebration of uneasiness as well as satisfaction and every frame needed to tell that story without words.” By using a tremendous saturation of colour and working primarily with source light (sunlight) coming in through windows, intruding into interior spaces, which in turn would bounce off objects, floors and ceilings in frame and then washing over the actors, everything appears honest and true to itself instead of looking artificially lit.
Light and heat coming into Margot’s home and life is a metaphor for what takes place throughout the story and Montpellier strove to duplicate the poetry of the screenplay on the canvas of his cinematography. The backlighting of Lou during ‘the Storm’ scene reflects the emotion of what is happening to Lou at that moment. “All you need is a clear idea to start and for me, for the production designers, for costume design, for all of us, it is the dramatic point of view from which we all work. Story informed everything.” It was story, specifically the “Storm” scene which made Polley and Montpellier decide to shot the film digitally. This allowed them to let the camera roll for over two hours continuously. There’s an emotional response to images you get when you are able to film them at certain times of the day. Shooting at magic hour (a misnomer because this is the last 15 minutes of sunlight in a day, as well as the first 15 minutes in early morning) was something Polley wrote into the script. As the sun set on Margot’s marriage, it also rose on the potentially new relationship she had with Daniel. “Neither of these scenes would have had the same significance if they were shot at high noon,” commented Montpellier. “For the hero house, where Lou and Margo live, the colours are slightly off prime because I didn’t see Sarah’s ‘bowl of fruit’ as being fresh, but rather sticky and over ripe,” remarked Production Designer Matthew Davies. “I wanted a sense of heat building up in the house, slightly oppressive, with a treacley, beautiful amber light filtering through the windows. This is in direct contrast to Daniel’s apartment which is bright white with high key, primary colours.” As envisioned by Polley, the hero house in Toronto’s Little Portugal (which is the scripted neighbourhood) is a fine example of real estate as biography, embodying the spirit of Queen West: a liberal, independent middle class couple would have bought the place when the market took a momentary downturn and then began extensive renovations which dragged on. “Unfinished, like everything else in Lou and Margot’s life,” continued Davies. “So we see the uneven surfaces, exposed wiring and peeling plaster. Textured surfaces play light in an interesting way so we used grass wallpapers, a shiny, leather sofa, which has a sticky quality and the coffee table made from samples of linoleum. The colours are oranges, greens and a nicotinekhaki.” The interior walls of the house are a very saturated, hot, apricot colour and is further intensified by installing amber and lilac glass panels which pick up shafts of exterior light shining through into the house through patterned gobos, lace sheers and wicker blinds. And in every room are oscillating fans. The effect of heat is a result of layer upon layer upon layer of architectural detail.”
Davies furnished the house with vintage pieces, re-appropriated from other sources. The art on the living room wall, created specifically for the film, is a photographic triptych of seven graffiti artists (mostly kids from a city project) at one Toronto streetcar stop. This piece is made more significant as a result of the agenda of the new mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, who had that particular wall painted over a few months after the film was completed. This is also the same streetcar stop in the scene where Daniel, with his rickshaw, passes by Margot. “To say Sarah is collaborative doesn’t do justice to her approach. Sarah is very multi-layered and culti-vates very healthy relationships with the crew, allowing everyone to feel like they are a part of the project, to invest themselves in it, and bring something exceptional of themselves to the film,” explained Davies. “Life has fantastic moments of absolutes, moments where you believe absolutely something, and those moments should be really enjoyed,” concluded Polley. “My general belief is that every decision is ambiguous and it is rare that a decision is clearly right or wrong. Sometimes it can feel that way and those are interesting moments that stand out for me. But I think we are all just muddling through. You never know how a decision will end up so you never know what the right one is. To me, the only real truth is in ambiguity.”
ÜBER DIE DARSTELLER
MICHELLE WILLIAMS (Margot) Academy Award ® nominee Michelle Williams‘ range of talents and experience have shaped her career to the point where she has become one of Hollywood‘s most sought-after and respected actors. Williams can most recently be seen starring in Derek Cianfrance‘s Blue Valentine opposite Ryan Gosling. The film premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and was an official selection at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. Blue Valentine was released by The Weinstein Company on December 31, 2010. Williams also stars in Kelly Reichardt‘s film Meek’s Cutoff, marking her second collaboration with the director. Williams recently wrapped My Week With Marilyn starring as the iconic Marilyn Monroe opposite Kenneth Branagh. Williams‘ riveting performance in Ang Lee‘s Brokeback Mountain, released in 2005, earned her a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award as well as her „Best Supporting Actress“ nominations from SAG, Golden Globe, BAFTA and ultimately the Academy Awards ®. Williams was then nominated for a 2007 Independent Spirit Award for „Best Actress“ for her performance in Wim Wenders‘ Land of Plenty. In her first collaboration with Kelly Reichardt on her critically acclaimed independent film Wendy and Lucy, Williams‘ moving and evocative performance as „Wendy“ garnered a Toronto Film Critics Award for „Best Actress“ in 2009 and her third Independent Spirit Award Nomination. In 2004, Williams shared a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination with her fellow actors from Thomas McCarthy‘s The Station Agent for „Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.“ In 2005, Williams was honored by the Motion Picture Club as „Female Star of Tomorrow.“ Williams‘ other film credits include Sharon Maguire‘s Incendiary, Charlie Kaufman‘s Synecdoche, New York, Todd Haynes‘ I’m Not There, Dan Harris‘ Imaginary Heroes, Richard Ledes‘ A Hole in One, Ethan Hawke‘s The Hottest State, Julian Goldberger‘s The Hawk is Dying, Sandra Goldbacher‘s Me Without You, and Andrew Fleming‘s Dick. Williams was last seen in Martin Scorcese‘s Shutter Island, opposite Leonardo DiCaprio. On television, Williams starred opposite Chloë Sevigny in Martha Coolidge‘s critically acclaimed HBO movie If These Walls Could Talk 2. She also had a six-year run as „Jen Lindley“ on the WB‘s hit television series Dawson’s Creek. The series premiered in 1998 and remained one of the WB‘s top-rated shows throughout its run. On stage, Williams received glowing reviews for her portrayal of Varya in Chek-hov‘s THE CHERRY ORCHARD at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. She also achieved critical acclaim for her run in Mike Leigh‘s SMELLING A RAT at the Samuel Beckett Theatre and her off-Broadway debut in KILLER JOE.
LUKE KIRBY (Daniel) Luke Kirby has been performing since his teen years after he was accepted at this country’s most respected conservatory, the National Theatre School of Canada. He graduated in May 2000 and after two auditions found himself working on two separate projects in major roles; the CBS/Alliance miniseries Haven and Director Lea Pool’s feature, Lost and Delirious. Soon after, Luke performed the role of “Morgan” in the Factory Theatre’s production of GEOMETRY IN VENICE in Toronto, a performance that garnered him a Best Actor nomination at the Dora Mavor Moore Awards. This was quickly followed by the role of “Patroclus” in Theatre for a New Audience’s production of TRIOLUS and CRESSIDA directed by Sir Peter Hall in New York City. In 2006, he gave a critically acclaimed performance in The Women’s Project’s production of JUMP/CUT. Other theatre credits include Judith Thompson‘s premiere of HABITAT at Canadian Stage followed by Daniel Brook‘s premiere of THE GOOD LIFE at the Tarragon Theatre (both in Toronto). His latest theatre venture was in NYC where he performed the lead role in DEFENDER OF THE FAITH (Irish Repertory Company). Luke’s first feature film lead was the role of Jim in Halloween 8: Resurrection. Other film credits include lead roles in Peter Wellington‘s feature, Luck and Mambo Italiano directed by Emile Gaudreault. Mambo Italiano received a gala presentation at the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival to a standing ovation and earned Luke a Canadian Comedy Award Nomination. Following on the success of Luck and Mambo Italiano, Luke ended up with a part that was written for him in the feature film Shattered Glass produced by Cruise/Wagner. In 2007, Luke played the lead role of Ray Dokes opposite Rachel Leigh Cooke and Keith Carradine in the Canadian feature All Hat and followed with a lead role opposite Lindsay Lohan in a feature titled Labor Pains. Luke was cast as the lead opposite Samuel Jackson in The Samaritan, David Weaver’s latest feature also set to premiere in 2011. In television, one of Luke’s favourite roles was in the critically acclaimed TMN/Showcase mini-series Slings & Arrows, featuring some of Canada’s top actors and directed by his friend Peter Wellington. Sex Traffic, a miniseries for Channel 4 and CBC that aired in the fall of 2004, had him working with one of Britain’s top directors, David Yates and earned him a Gemini nomination. That same year he received a second Gemini nomination for his guest-starring role in the dramatic series The Eleventh Hour. In the fall of 2005, Luke landed a role as a series regular for HBO‘s Tell Me That You Love Me, directed by Patricia Rozema. The first season aired on HBO in September of 2007. Luke also had the lead as Jimmy Burns in the critically acclaimed Canwest Global television series Cra$h & Burn.
SETH ROGEN (Lou) Seth Rogen has emerged leading a new generation of comedic actors,writers and producers. Rogen demonstrated his wide-ranging ability as he co-wrote, executive produced and starred as the main character, Britt Reid, from the comic book turned action film The Green Hornet. Directed by Michel Gondry, Rogen stars opposite the Academy Award®-winning actor Christoph Waltz, who plays the villain Chudnofsky. Rogen most recently completed 50/50, a film based on the real life experience of Vancouver native Will Reiser. Starring alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the film unfolds the comedic perspective of the 25-year-old’s (Gordon-Levitt) cancer diagnosis and subsequently, his best friend’s desire for him to beat the disease. Furthermore, Rogen starred as the voice of the title character in the comedy Paul teaming once again with Superbad director Greg Mottola, which was released by Universal Pictures in January 2011 and will be out on DVD in August, 2011. Written by Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, and co-starring Jane Lynch, Kristen Wiig and Jason Bateman, Rogen voiced an alien who has escaped outside of Area 51 and his encounters with two geeks on their way to Comic Con. Nominated for an Emmy Award in 2005 for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy for Da Ali G Show, Rogen began his career doing standup comedy in Vancouver, Canada at the age of 13. After moving to Los Angeles, Rogen landed supporting roles in Judd Apatow’s two critically acclaimed network television comedies, Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared, the latter for which Rogen was also hired as a staff writer at the age of 18. Shortly after, Rogen was guided by Apatow toward a film career, first with the box office smash hit, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, which opened No. 1 at the box office and remained at the top perch for two weekends in a row. The film went on to gross more than $175 million worldwide and helped put Rogen on the map as a future film star. The film was named one of the 10 Most Outstanding Motion Pictures of the Year by AFI and took home Best Comedy Movie at the 11th annual Critics’ Choice Awards. Rogen was a coproducer on the film as well. Rogen headlined two summer blockbusters in 2007. First, with Knocked Up, co-starring Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann; the Apatow project grossed more than $140 million domestically. Distributed by Universal Pictures, Rogen was also an executive producer. Shortly thereafter, Rogen starred in Superbad (a semi-autobiographical comedy), that he co-wrote and executive produced with writing partner Evan Goldberg. The film grossed more than $120 million domestically for Sony Pictures. The duo also found success the following summer in the action-comedy Pineapple Express. Starring opposite James Franco and Danny McBride, the No. 1 box-office hit went on to make more than $100 million worldwide for Sony Pictures. Rogen has also found great success lending his voice for animated films. He began with Kung Fu Panda as “Mantis” alongside Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman and Angelina Jolie. The Academy Award®-nominated film earned more than $626 million worldwide. He reprised his role as the sarcastic insect in the following summer’s sequel, Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom. The following year came the 3D animation phenomenon, Monsters vs. Aliens. Rogen voiced “B.O.B.” and was joined by Paul Rudd, Rainn Wilson and the Academy Award®-winning actress, Reese Witherspoon. The film was released by DreamWorks Animation and has grossed nearly $370 million at the worldwide box office. Other film credits for Rogen include Horton Hears a Who!, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Observe and Report and Funny People opposite Adam Sandler.
SARAH SILVERMAN (Geraldine) Emmy winner Sarah Silverman is as versatile of a performer as they come. Her repertoire includes everything from film and television, stand-up comedy, to iconic online videos and she added author to this list when she released her first book last spring. Silverman was most recently seen starring in the third season of The Sarah Silverman Program on Comedy Central and her New York Times bestselling book The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee was recently released in paperback. Silverman was nominated for a 2009 Primetime Emmy in the Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series category for her portrayal of a fictionalized version of herself in The Sarah Silverman Program. This marked Comedy Central’s first ever Emmy nomination in a scripted acting category. She also received a WGA nomination last year for her work on the show. Silverman won a Primetime Emmy in 2008 in the Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics category for her musical collaboration with Matt Damon. In addition, she was honored with a Best Actress Webby Award for her online video The Great Schlep, in which she persuaded young Jewish kids to encourage their grandparents in Florida to vote for President Obama prior to the 2008 election. On the film side, Silverman appears in the comedy Peep World opposite Michael C. Hall and Rainn Wilson about a group of dysfunctional adult siblings who are fighting over a novel that one of them is writing, about the family. The film premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival and was released in theaters in 2011. In 2004 Silverman made an impressive splash with her concert film, Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic. Directed by Liam Lynch, the film garnered major attention at the Toronto Film Festival and created huge national buzz. Silverman also garnered critical praise in the documentary feature The Aristocrats, in which 100 of the industry’s most prominent comedians tell a version of the same joke. Her other film credits include Saint John of Las Vegas, I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With, School for Scoundrels, The School of Rock, There’s Something About Mary, The Way of The Gun, The Bachelor, and Say It Isn’t So. Silverman co-starred on the Fox comedy Greg the Bunny, and has guest starred in a slew of acclaimed and notable television shows such as Monk, which earned her an Emmy nomination in 2008 in the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series category, The Larry Sanders Show, Seinfeld, and Mr. Show with Bob and David. Silverman also lent her voice to the Comedy Central show Crank Yankers. Silverman was dubbed “the most outrageously funny woman alive,” by Rolling Stone. With her comedic timing and stage presence it’s no surprise that Sarah has been asked to host major award shows. In 2007 she hosted the MTV Movie Awards and she has also twice hosted the Independent Spirit Awards. Silverman grew up in New Hampshire and attended New York University. In 1993 she joined Saturday Night Live as a writer and feature performer and has not stopped working since.
CREW Regie Sarah Polley Buch Sarah Polley Bildregie Luc Montpellier Schnitt
Jane Tattersall, David McCallum
Mischung Lou Solakofski CAST Margot Michelle Williams Lou
Harriet Jennifer Podemski Tony Vanesa Coelho
John Buchan, Jason Knight
Kostüme Lea Carlson Musik Jonathan Goldsmith Art Director
Susan Cavan, Sarah Polley
Sarah Polley: ‚We‘re all kind of ugly in our relationships‘ Director Sarah Polley describes the controversy over her infidelity drama Take This Waltz as ‚too interesting to even be sensitive about‘ Aus: THE GUARDIAN Sarah Polley‘s new film is an adulterers‘ apologia. Or, it‘s the opposite: a cold shower caution against letting lust jeopardise a happy marriage. Take This Waltz – in which a woman, played by Michelle Williams, flirts with infidelity – polarised audiences from the off. The day after its premiere at the Toronto film festival, Polley reported: „I‘ve heard people say: ‚It made me feel so good about leaving my longterm relationship.‘ I‘ve heard people say: ‚How could she leave such a great guy? I hated her for that.‘ People feel very passionately one way or another, and they also feel certain that the film backs up their point of view. I‘d hoped they‘d project their own relationship history on to it, even if it‘s an unconscious process.“ That was nearly a year ago. What the director couldn‘t have predicted was the scope of people‘s subjectivity. Not only have their personal lives appeared to colour their judgment of the characters, but the film‘s quality too. „It was greeted as being as controversial as a Lars von Trier movie or something,“ she laughs down the line from Canada, 10 months on. „People who didn‘t like it really hated it and people who liked it felt very defensive of it. They either felt vindicated or attacked. It was sort of strange the distance between what I thought I made and what some people took away from it.“ Polley – bright, good-natured, possibly with bigger fish to fry (she had a daughter in March; has a documentary out soon) – is circumspect about the criticism. „The really cool thing is that the negative reviews of the film were really smart. It was too interesting to even be sensitive about. In the past, putting a film into the world has been kind of a grind, or it feels like you‘re kind of promoting a product and beside the point. With this, it feels like the film is continuing into it, because people are still having conversations that are surprising.“ The self-interest that seems to have marked audiences‘ reactions feels oddly apt. Take This Waltz is, in part, a study of self-absorption (though, crucially, it is not a self-absorbed film). Its heroine, Margot (Williams), is a lost soul, an aspirant author, stuck in a hacky job and kiddie clothes and cutesy neuroses. She lives in a clapboard cottage with her husband of five years, Lou (Seth Rogen), a cookery writer dealing exclusively in chicken. Baby talk abounds; passion less so. Then Margot meets Daniel (Luke Kirby) on a plane. There‘s an attraction, which turns into a problem when it emerges he‘s their new neighbour.
It‘s a film of sun and heart, whose aesthetic mimics woozy infatuation, highly alive to the colour and light of the everyday. It is also, to a generation of aspirational creatives, around 30, probably without children, who lean liberal, cook organic and dig Leonard Cohen, what the films of Joanna Hogg (Unrelated, Archipelago) are to the English upper middle classes – explainers, not condemners. They translate with one hand as they skewer with the other. For, despite its lush looks, Take This Waltz is not always pretty. It shows people not just at their most vulnerable but their most mundanely unappealing – needy, clingy, and casually embarrassing. Margot is a mess; Polley does not always proffer a mop. „We‘re all kind of ugly in our relationships,“ she says. „I have a friend who thinks that you find someone who will take you and then you reveal yourself. There‘s a certain sense in which we don‘t really want that revealed self to be known by the outside world.“ In many ways, it‘s more audacious than her first film, Away from Her, another study of adultery, based on an Alice Munro story about an Alzheimer‘s patient (played by Julie Christie) who forgets her husband and falls in love with another resident in her care home. „I feel like I‘m more acquainted with female sexual restlessness than male. Even though that tends to be what you see in film. Maybe women generally are less easily satisfied.“ „What‘s sexy at the start of a relationship is how that person offers you the possibility of reinventing yourself. And then at some point you realise they probably won‘t. I think people get most disappointed at that moment. You can fall in love with yourself through someone else‘s eyes for a little while; then you see yourself as you really are again and it‘s sort of devastating.“ On the page, Polley can seem earnest. In fact she‘s laid-back, unassuming and shy of making grand pronounce-ments. She‘s neither an extension of Margot (she‘s far from flaky, for a start – at 17 she lost two back teeth after a run-in with riot police). Nor is she guarded in the way you might anticipate from someone who has already been famous for 25 years.
The youngest of five children born to a British expat actor and a Canadian casting director, Polley, now 33, was hailed „Canada‘s sweetheart“ as a child for her roles in TV shows Ramona, Road to Avonlea and Straight Up. As an adult she‘s only ever dipped her toes in the mainstream (Dawn of the Dead), opting to bunk down in the arthouse for the likes of Go, The Sweet Hereafter, The Weight of Water, My Life Without Me, Splice and Mr Nobody. There are no immediate plans to return to acting. Rather, there‘s that documentary, and an adaptation of Margaret Atwood‘s Alias Grace, which she‘ll direct when her daughter is older. Polley‘s husband, David Sandomierski, is a legal research student; they married in 2011, three years after she divorced film editor David Wharnsby, with whom she‘d been for many years. This history has led many to draw hopeful comparisons between her life and Take This Waltz – comparisons she rejects. But would she make the same film now? Or does having children categorically change your perspective? „I know people who don‘t have children and don‘t intend to; they have great relationships, but I think it requires more crea-tivity in terms of how you make sure that life remains dynamic. Margot and Lou haven‘t made the decision and they‘re not really willing to have the conversation. I think having kids makes everything in the world seem superfi-cial in a strange way. At this point there‘s nothing to me that seems worth making a film about, but hopefully I‘ll have a more balanced perspective in a few years.“
In some ways, in fact, the affair in Take This Waltz is a red herring. Polley‘s conclusion, in so far as there is one, is brilliantly condensed in two speech-free scenes on a fairground Twister, soundtracked by Video Killed the Radio Star. Replacements come and go; they‘re not necessarily improvements. Take This Waltz‘s real subject is the fallacy of trying to grapple with disappointment. We‘re set up to expect perfection. „Once you find someone,“ says Polley, „you‘re not supposed to feel empty or like there‘s something missing. That‘s bewildering and we think we have to go fix it.“ Rogen, speaking in Toronto, echoed Polley‘s point of view. „Life is inherently a little depressing. Some people fill that void with religion; other people fill it with constantly trying to find something exciting and passionate. Some people just accept it and find joy within those parameters. To me, that‘s what I think when I think about what this movie is about.“ At one point, Margot speaks about an apparently causeless unhappiness that can suddenly overwhelm her. „What she‘s talking about is what it feels like to be alive,“ says Polley. „But it‘s something we don‘t have a place for culturally, so we think of it as a problem.“ Her heroine beats herself up about a decision she ultimately seems powerless to make. „Yeah. A friend of mine says: don‘t worry, things will work out, even badly. With relationships, you can work at them but when they finally break, you realize it was always going to go that way.“ She laughs again. „Actually I don‘t know if I really believe that. I‘m just sort of talking.“