CS Video: Director Sarah Polley on Take This Waltz


Having acted since childhood, Canada’s Sarah Polley made an incredible move to directing in 2007 with Away From Her, a drama about an elderly couple facing the realities of dementia. Even though the characters were significantly older than the then-28-year-old Polley, the film really connected with critics as well as the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, which honored it with two Oscar nominations.

It’s been five years and Polley is back with Take This Waltz, which is quite a stark departure, first of all because it’s based on her own original screenplay rather than being adapted from a short story, but also because it features actors closer to Polley’s own age. The results are quite astounding and it’s a formidable follow-up to her earlier film.

Michelle Williams plays Margot, a Toronto woman who has been married to husband Lou (Seth Rogen) for five years and has started to get the itch for change when she meets a charming and attractive neighbor named Daniel (Luke Kirby), who proceeds to seduce her. Margot’s desire for Daniel is balanced by her love for Lou and her confusion about what to do about this tough decision. Comedian Sarah Silverman also has a surprisingly dramatic supporting role as Margot’s sister-in-law and confidante.

The film premiered in Polley’s hometown of Toronto last year where we reviewed it, and it’s been playing on the film festival circuit ever since.

ComingSoon.net finally caught up with Ms. Polley last week in New York for the video interview below, in which we spoke to her about:

* Whether this movie was what she was writing when we last spoke five years ago
* What the original kernel of an idea was when she started writing it.
* How she came to cast Michelle Williams
* Developing the character with her
* How some of the scenes in the script evolved with the actors
* How the experience making this movie differed from “Away From Her”
* Casting comic actors like Seth Rogen and Sarah Silverman in more dramatic roles
* How Seth plays the grown-up in the relationship with Michelle
* Talking about Luke Kirby’s character and how we’re supposed to feel about his slow seduction of Michelle’s character
* The film’s title and its connection to Leonard Cohen’s song
* The way she uses Toronto in the movie
* The documentary she’s working on, which she was hesitant to discuss
* We ask about the joke her movie has in common with a recent Adam Sandler movie

And more!

Take This Waltz opens in New York City at the Landmark Sunshine and Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center on Friday, June 29 and in California and other select cities on July 6.