Last Canada Day, I recommended Sarah Polley’s brilliant Away From Her (2006), a remarkable and emotionally draining film based on an Alice Munro short story, “The Bear Came Over the Mountain.” This Canada Day, I recommend seeing any film by Polley. True, her filmography consists of only two full length features, Away From Her and her recently released Take This Waltz (2011). Actually, film goers in the United States can only see Take This Waltz if they happen to reside in or travel to New York or Los Angeles. So I, as a resident of Richmond, VA (Chesterfield County to be geographically accurate), do not yet have the pleasure of seeing Polley’s new film.
However, I desperately desire to see it. A.O. Scott, one of my favorite film reviewers, lauds Take This Waltz. Scott comments on how Polley, a Canadian and Toronto resident, uses her home town as the perfect backdrop for her love story about a married woman (Michelle Williams) who falls for a neighbor (Luke Kirby) during a sweltering Canadian summer. Scott further notes that Polley, who wrote and directed this piece, used strains of fellow Canadian writer Munro to string together her story of complex and deep emotions. Munro is my second-favorite living writer, and I am happy to see her fiction being utilized, directly or indirectly, by a filmmaker of Polley’s caliber.
So in celebration of Canada Day, see a film by Sarah Polley: a remarkable talent.
As a bonus, Take This Waltz casts Seth Rogen as Williams’s husband. And it would be criminal of me to discuss a Rogen film and not include this review by Texas Governor Rick Perry.