Posts Tagged ‘sarah polley’

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3.5 out of 5 stars

“I’m afraid of being afraid”

“Is that a shoudvitation or an invitation?”

Take This Waltz has definitely been lauded as many things, most of these adjectives sound positive and sexy: sultry, hot, steamy. You rarely see adultery or cheating in the headline. It may be a sign of our times or just that most reviewers want to focus on the positive in the case of this film.

However it is a difficult film to watch. Particularly if you believe that cheating is the worst thing anyone can do (as do I) or you are a huge Seth Rogen fan (as am I). This is despite the fact that I am predisposed to be a fan of anything by Sarah Polley (who wrote and directed the film).

Unlike many independent films, after making the festival rounds and being picked up for distribution, Take This Waltz is currently available to watch by most anyone with an internet connection, thanks to the wonders of Video on Demand.

Take This Waltz centers on Margot (Michelle Williams). She is a sometimes writer and supposedly happy housewife to Lou (Seth Rogen). The film opens with Margot on a puff piece writing assignment, though we never get to see her work again during the film. While on assignment and during her return trip home she meets an intriguing man named Daniel (Luke Kirby). They make a connection with each other and then find out that they now live across the street from one another.


Margot mainly seems like a bored, horny housewife. Though the film makes takes great pains to show that Lou’s family has integrated her into theirs with welcoming arms, Lou himself is inattentive. During the film she has to mention how embarrassing it is to try to seduce your husband and he just doesn’t get it. This, to me, is probably the most intriguing part of the film. Margot obviously has some type of anxiety disorder. She isn’t just shy. You rarely see this projected on screen. So in the beginning this makes it very easy to become endeared to Margot, even though you know what’s coming.

During the course of the film Margot tries to get her hubby’s attention but he is constantly working on recipes for his cookbook because he takes his writing seriously. Despite the fact that they have silly couple rituals that they perform to stay in touch he never seems to understand Margot.

“but I found out how that worked and you weren’t all that interested in me being gentle”

This should make it easy for us to understand her gradual seduction by wannabe artist, but actual rickshaw driver Daniel but he sometimes insults her, which I do not find at all attractive. There is a very steamy scene in the film in which they discuss what they would do if they got together. He seduces her so totally with words that it’s like reading a romance novel aloud, it’s incredibly hot.

During the film you don’t really know for the longest time whether or not she will actually cheat on her husband which makes for an awkward, yet suspenseful watch. I do not believe in spoilers so I won’t tell you if they get together. You need to go watch it instead.

It should also be noted that Sarah Silverman gives a stand out performance as Rogen’s sister, Geraldine, a recovering alcoholic. However she so completely steals the scenes that she is in that you wonder if she should just have her own film until you later realize that they are using her alcoholism as a metaphor and plot point for Margot.

On the other hand you have Rogen’s performance. While he isn’t given that much to do during the bulk of the film there is a very dramatic part that feels improvised and lacking. I find it very difficult to critique him in that way but it doesn’t reach the depth that he’s shown in other dramas such as 50/50 and Funny People.

During the flick Margot changes, becoming more free, this is most likely why Williams herself likens it to a coming of age movie. I would recommend watching this movie once just because it’s so different from other films out there but I won’t be adding it to my collection.

You may also enjoy:
Tenderfeet: 12 Hotties Under 30 (from 2010, featuring Rogen’s bare ass because, yumm!)
Movie Quotes: Paul
Movie Quotes: The Green Hornet
Movie Quotes: Zack and Miri Make a Porno
Movie Quotes: Observe and Report
Movie Quotes: 50/50
Movie Quotes: Funny People
Movie Review: The Shape of Things
Movie Review: All Things Fall Apart
Movie Review: The Ice Storm

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Since today was the first day of the end of the world (rolls eyes), let’s do this shit. I feel like I would be remiss if I didn’t address actual end of the world theories so those are at the end.

Click the title of the film to go purchase it on Amazon (or another store) or just check out the widget at the end of this post. Clicking on the date will take you to the IMDB to read more on the film.

Last Night (1998)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWHuKhQjzPI
“I don’t give a damn. People are always saying ‘The children. Pity the children’. I’m tired of the children. They haven’t lived, given birth, watch their friends die. I have invested 80 years in this life. The children don’t know what they’re missing. “

My favorite doomsday film is not a special effects laden film. In fact, there are none in it. This is a little known independent film that focuses on a group of characters and what they would each be doing on their last day on Earth. This is your type of film if you are a “life is about the journey, not the destination” person. We never learn why the world is ending. That isn’t the point. It’s about what, as an individual person, you would be doing. Some just want to see their family, some want to do something that they have never done before, etc. The film was written, directed by and stars Don McKellar. The film also stars Sandra Oh, Sarah Polley, David Cronenberg, Callum Keith Rennie, Tracy Wright and Geneviève Bujold. It’s fantastic!

A Thief in the Night (1972)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ly4CPRE_Ke0
“That’s right, Jenny, in a way it is free, what I mean is it doesn’t cost anything but your life.” “That sounds pretty expensive.”

This was a Christian propaganda rapture film. Apparently it’s the first in a 4 part series (yeah, I don’t get that either). Plot: “The film deals with Patty, a young woman who knows and has heard the Christian gospel but dismisses it due to her satisfaction with secular life. One morning she wakes up to discover that her husband, a Christian, and millions of others have disappeared. Gradually, Patty realizes that the Rapture, mentioned in the Bible, has happened and she is living in the last days of the Antichrist. A government system called UNITE is set up and those who do not receive the mark identifying them with UNITE will be arrested.” (from Wikipedia). I haven’t seen this film since I was 13 but I did just watch some clips on YouTube and it’s still creepy as fuck. When I was in junior high and attending a local church they had movie nights on the weekend sometimes (ostensibly to keep us off the streets and from getting into trouble, etc.). Because it was a church they usually only played stuff like Charlie Chaplin shorts or other really old schtick whilst lamenting that they could only play that type of thing because it was for families. My friends and I would alternately watch this stuff while passing notes and joking, etc. Basically this was a good way to talk to boys that we only had the chance to see at church. So the night that they decided to play this freaky ass end of the world film was definitely unexpected (and probably would have made younger kids piss their pants). The film stars Patty Dunning, Mike Niday, Collen Niday, Maryann Rachford, Thom Rachford, Duane Coller, Russell S. Doughten Jr. and Clarence Balmer.

The War of the Worlds (1938) (Note: MP3 of audio recording)


In 1938 the now celebrated Orson Welles narrated a radio drama of H.G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds about about an alien invasion. They sneakily played it as news bulletins to freak people out. However it aired on Halloween so many people actually knew it was all in good fun. Adolf Hitler cited the panic as “evidence of the decadence and corrupt condition of democracy.” I am from a small town with our own AM radio station (woot!, we don’t need uh anything created past 1906) which used to air this on Halloween. I have no idea if they still do. When I was young and first heard it I had to ask my father about it and it blew my mind. Yes, I have seen the Tom Cruise film adaptation and although many hate it I would say that it’s decent.

Knowing (2009)

“Stay with me. I know how this sounds, but I’ve mapped these numbers to the dates of every major global disaster from the last 50 years in perfect sequence. Earthquakes, fires, tsunamis. The next number on the chain predicts that tomorrow, somewhere on the planet, 81 people are going to die, in some kind of tragedy. “

Knowing is a film starring Nic Cage as a professor who by discovering that a series of numbers has predicted the world’s past tragedies is able to predict the end of the world. Knowing was panned by many people. My guess is that is because people often do not like to watch more intelligent people than them on film. Personally I am no math whiz but highly enjoyed this film. Rose Byrne costars. I should also mention that this film does show catastrophes happening on screen (as the previous films do not).

Omega Man (1971)


“Are you God?” “Let’s find out if he’s even a doctor before we go promoting him, okay?”

Plot: “Robert Neville (played by the late Charlton Heston), a doctor, due to an experimental vaccine, is the only survivor of an apocalyptic war waged with biological weapons. The plague caused by the war has killed everyone else except for a few hundred deformed, nocturnal people calling themselves The Family”. (from IMDB.com). So Omega Man is technically post-apocalyptic but I had to include it. The film has been spoofed (awesomely I might add) by The Simpsons. Will Smith also made a film version based on the original book called I Am Legend which has been universally panned and made fun of on Cracked.com many times. I’ve never been interested in watching it. I also really don’t care for how Will Smith rips things off all of the time without acknowledging it.

Little Nicky (2000)

“To the defilement of Earth and the corruption of its people. “

Adam Sandler’s hilarious comedy Little Nicky is more of a fish out of water story about the devil’s son but the reason Nicky comes to Earth is that Nicky’s brothers are trying to bring Hell to Earth. If you too love the late Mr. Beefy, go here. The film costars Patricia Arquette, Harvey Keitel, Rhys Ifans, Tiny Lister, Rodney Dangerfield, Allen Covert, Peter Dante, Jonathan Loughran, Robert Smigel, Reese Witherspoon, Dana Carvey, Jon Lovitz, Kevin Nealon, Michael McKean, Quentin Tarantino and Ozzy Osbourne.

Honorable Mentions: The Thing and The Faculty are about the end of one group of people (not the entire world) but that could spread to the whole world. Strange Days (1995) was set on the last day of 1999 (which was another time in the past that people predicted the world would end). Although there are people in the film celebrating or fearing “the end of days” and the film kicks off with Ralph Fiennes listening to a call in radio show with the voice of Winona Ryder as a devout Christian who believes that this is the end, none of the main characters believe in/are addressing this fear.

This list is short (for one of my lists) but I feel no need to pad it because these are my personal favorites and what I consider to be the best. Go here for a huge list of apocalyptic films.

BUY

On End of the World Theories
As a guide I’ve been answering the question the question “When is the end of the world?” for years. Today’s (May 21, 2011) prediction comes from Harold Camping of Family Radio Worldwide who goes around predicting the end of the world every once in a while to sell you something. The big date that has been circulating for years is December 21, 2012 which some will tell you that Nostradamus or alternately the Mayans predicted. After answering that question for months I felt a compulsion to research it a bit myself. Though I am now an educated (i.e. I studied many religions before coming to the decision) atheist and former non-denominational Christian (used to attend a Baptist church and prior to that a Lutheran, but leaning towards Catholic, church) I had to know if Nostradamus predicted this.

If you’ve watched any of those History Channel Nostradamus programs you may also think that the guy was pretty fascinating and possibly onto something, as some of his predictions seem to have come true. I don’t have a link for this as I looked it up years ago, but Nostradamus being linked to this date was inferred by another guy who linked it up via puzzle pieces so I wouldn’t put much stock in it.

Christians will tell you that the exact date of their rapture isn’t written down yet, you just have to be ready. Scientists will tell you that the sun will eventually burn up Earth and all of the other planets billions of years from now, so you don’t need to worry.

Check It OutThe Yuppie Survivalists at Details.com-my favorite apocalypse article ever!

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