Take This Waltz (film)

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Take This Waltz
Take This Waltz (film) poster art.jpg
Canadian theatrical release poster
Directed bySarah Polley
Written bySarah Polley
Produced by
  • Susan Cavan
  • Sarah Polley
CinematographyLuc Montpellier
Edited byChristopher Donaldson
Music byJonathan Goldsmith
Distributed by
  • Mongrel Media (Canada)
  • Alta Classics (Spain)
  • Broadmedia Studios (Japan)
Release dates
  • September 11, 2011 (2011-09-11) (TIFF)
  • November 25, 2011 (2011-11-25) (Spain)
  • June 29, 2012 (2012-06-29) (Canada)
  • August 11, 2012 (2012-08-11) (Japan)
Running time
116 minutes[1]
Box office$4.9 million[3]

Take This Waltz is a 2011 romantic comedy-drama film[4][5] written, produced, and directed by Sarah Polley.[6] The film centres on Margot, a 28-year-old freelance writer who lives in a charming house on a leafy street in Toronto's Little Portugal neighbourhood, as she struggles with and examines her feelings for Lou, her husband of five years, while exploring a new relationship with Daniel, an artist and rickshaw driver who lives across the street.

The film stars Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Luke Kirby, and Sarah Silverman.


Margot, a freelance writer, meets Daniel, an artist and rickshaw operator, while on a business trip, and although they immediately share some chemistry, she reveals to him that she is married. However, it turns out that Daniel lives across the street from Margot and her husband Lou in Toronto. Although Lou and Margot appear happy together, it becomes clear that Margot is not completely satisfied with her marriage, a feeling possibly aggravated by encountering Daniel. As the film progresses Margot and Daniel interact more and more until she ultimately leaves her husband to be with him. Lou is saddened, yet understanding. The audience is then shown a montage of Margot's new life with Daniel, including several brief sex scenes; however, these are soon replaced with scenes of mundane activities. It becomes clear that the excitement is also leaving Margot's relationship with Daniel. Geraldine, Lou's sister and a recovering alcoholic, confronts Margot (while drunk) and tells her that she should have just accepted that life has gaps and that changing relationships was not the answer.



Pre-production, filming and post-production took place in 2010/2011 at locations in and around Toronto, Ontario including at Pinewood Toronto Studios, Pearson International Airport, the Royal Cinema and in Louisbourg, Nova Scotia.[7][8]

A communal shower scene featuring actresses Michelle Williams, Jennifer Podemski and Sarah Silverman gained press attention, as it was Silverman's first time appearing fully nude on screen.[9] During press interviews, Silverman stated that she was comfortable performing in the scene, because it was a non-sexual portrayal of a common, everyday occurrence of women being nude together.[10][11]


Take This Waltz had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2011.[12] The film then played at the 31st annual Atlantic Film Festival and the 59th annual San Sebastián International Film Festival.[13][14] At the end of September, Take This Waltz was shown at the 25th Edmonton International Film Festival and the Vancouver International Film Festivals.[15][16] The film closed the Calgary International Film Festival and the Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival.[17][18] In April 2012, Take This Waltz was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival. A month later it played at the Seattle International Film Festival.[19][20]

On October 17, 2011, it was announced that Magnolia Pictures had acquired the US rights to Take This Waltz.[21] They released the film through their Ultra VOD program on May 25, 2012, before releasing it to theatres on June 29, 2012.[4][21][22] The film also opened to Canadian theatres on June 29.[23] Take This Waltz was released on June 14, 2012, in Australia.[24] In the United Kingdom, it was released by StudioCanal on August 17, 2012.[1][25]

Home media[edit]

Take This Waltz was released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 23, 2012. It was released on Netflix in June 2017.


Box office[edit]

Take This Waltz earned $203,127 upon its opening weekend in Canada.[26] The film opened to 27 theatres and landed at number one in the box office top five.[26] In the US, Take This Waltz earned $137,019 during its opening weekend across 30 theatres.[27] The film has grossed $1,239,692 in the US.[3]

Critical response[edit]

The film has received generally positive reviews from critics. Film review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes classified the film as "fresh" with a 79% approval rating among 141 critics, with a rating average of 7 out of 10.[28] Metacritic, which assigns a score of 1–100 to individual film reviews, gave Take This Waltz an average rating of 68 based on 34 reviews.[29] Joshua Rothkopf from Time Out New York chose Take This Waltz as one of the publications "Top Ten Tribeca Film Festival 2012 picks".[30] Rothkopf stated "her equally ambitious latest marks Polley as a serious explorer of broken relationships. Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen (more exposed than he's ever allowed himself to be) are married Torontonians who have settled into a too-comfortable domesticity. The simmering friction, caused in part by charming neighbour Luke Kirby, takes the film in surprising directions."[30] Stephen Holden of The New York Times commented "The temptations and perils of 'the grass is always greener' syndrome aren't as gripping a subject as Alzheimer's, the topic of Ms. Polley's first film, Away From Her, but the movie radiates a melancholy glow."[31]

Stella Papamichael, writing for Digital Spy, gave the film three out of five stars. She praised Polley's approach to the film calling it "different, fresh and exciting", but not as "well-balanced" as Away From Her.[32] Papamichael added "Margot is an emotionally gritty role for Williams and she plays it brilliantly close to the edge, but she can seem at odds with a scenario that has more in common with a Mills & Boon fantasy than the real world."[32] The Guardian's John Patterson proclaimed "Take This Waltz's practical wisdom about entropy in relationships and sense of resigned acceptance are leavened by an uncharacteristically active and talkative – and often very witty – performance from Williams."[33] Justin Chang from Variety said "Given how quickly movie characters tend to fall into bed with one another, it's especially rewarding to see writer-director Sarah Polley wring maximum tension, humor and emotional complexity from a young wife's crisis of conscience in Take This Waltz. Despite a few tonal and structural missteps, this intelligent, perceptive drama proves as intimately and gratifyingly femme-focused as Polley's 2006 debut, Away From Her."[34] Chang believed the film was "flat-out sexy enough" to appeal to audiences of either gender and praised Williams and Rogen's performances.[34]

CBC News' film reviewer, Eli Glasner, gave Take This Waltz three out of five and stated, "Although the film loses its footing near the end, adventurous movie fans should enjoy taking Polley's passion project for a spin."[35] The Daily Telegraph's Robbie Collin commented "Polley's ideas and images are never subtle (see: pulsating fairground sequences, a wheeling time-lapse shot backed by the titular Leonard Cohen dirge), but that's part of the charm. Her film is flush with beauty and truth, and is unerringly, unnervingly accurate on love, desire and friendship."[36] Empire's David Hughes awarded the film four out of five stars and said "Sarah Polley's second film is a masterfully painted portrait of an ordinary marriage under threat, dominated by a central performance of exquisite subtlety and observation."[37] In December 2012, Andrew O'Hehir from Salon revealed that Williams was his first choice for Best Actress at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards.[38]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients and nominees Result
Alliance of Women Film Journalists[39] January 7, 2013 Best Woman Director Sarah Polley Nominated
Best Woman Screenwriter Sarah Polley Nominated
Detroit Film Critics Society[40] December 14, 2012 Best Actress Michelle Williams Nominated
Best Director Sarah Polley Nominated
Best Picture Take This Waltz Nominated
Best Screenplay Sarah Polley Nominated
Directors Guild of Canada[41] October 20, 2012 Best Direction in a Feature Film Sarah Polley Nominated
Best Sound Editing Take This Waltz Nominated
Best Production Design Matthew Davies Nominated
Best Picture Editing Christopher Donaldson Nominated
Genie Awards[42] March 8, 2012 Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Michelle Williams Nominated
Best Achievement in Make-Up Leslie Ann Sebert and David R. Beecroft Nominated
Filmfest Hamburg[43] October 7, 2012 Art Cinema Award Sarah Polley Nominated
Hollywood Film Festival[44] October 24, 2011 Hollywood Actress Award Michelle Williams Won
San Diego Film Critics Society[45] December 11, 2012 Best Actress Michelle Williams Won
Best Original Screenplay Sarah Polley Nominated
San Sebastian Film Festival[46] September 24, 2012 Golden Seashell Take This Waltz Nominated
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association[47] December 17, 2012 Best Arthouse or Festival Film Take This Waltz Nominated
Vancouver Film Critics Circle[48][49] January 9, 2012 Best Actress in a Canadian Film Michelle Williams Won
Best Supporting Actor in a Canadian Film. Seth Rogen Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Take This Waltz". British Board of Film Classification. June 15, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "Rob Reiner's 'The Magic of Belle Isle' to Open Aruba International Film Festival". The Hollywood Reporter. June 8, 2012. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Take This Waltz (2011)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Smith, Nigel M (May 2, 2012). "The Top 10 Indies to Watch on VOD This May". IndieWire. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  5. ^ Smith, Ian Hayden (2012). International Film Guide 2012. p. 8. ISBN 978-1908215017.
  6. ^ "Sarah Polley blooms with new film". Toronto Sun, September 10, 2011.
  7. ^ Take This Waltz Filming Locations (Internet Movie Database)
  8. ^ Take This Waltz Tour of Toronto (Toronto Star)
  9. ^ Jancelewicz, Chris (September 15, 2010). "EXCLUSIVE: Sarah Silverman Doing Full-Frontal Nudity in 'Take This Waltz'". The Moviefone Blog. Archived from the original on September 18, 2010. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  10. ^ Zakarin, Jordan (April 23, 2012). "Tribeca 2012: Sarah Silverman Jokes Over Nude Scene Prep, Blasts Opponents of Gay Marriage and Abortion | Hollywood Reporter". www.hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  11. ^ Raab, Scott (July 5, 2012). "Sarah Silverman: The ESQ+A". Esquire. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  12. ^ "Director Polley examines collapse of a marriage" (Press release). Agence France-Presse. September 11, 2011. Archived from the original on January 29, 2014. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  13. ^ ""Take This Waltz" and "Roller Town" Among Galas at 31st Atlantic Film Festival". IndieWire. August 23, 2011. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  14. ^ "Official Selection – Take This Waltz". San Sebastián International Film Festival. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  15. ^ "Take This Waltz". Edmonton International Film Festival. Archived from the original on August 16, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  16. ^ Mack, Adrian (September 8, 2011). "VIFF 2011 Gala films Take This Waltz and The Kid With a Bike stir up excitement". The Georgia Straight. Vancouver Free Press Publishing Corp. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  17. ^ Fetherstonhaugh, Laura (October 3, 2011). "CIFF Closing Gala: Take This Waltz and Pizza at Double Zero". Avenue Magazine. Archived from the original on October 11, 2011. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  18. ^ Stricke, Laura (September 26, 2011). "Curtain down on Cinefest". Sudbury Star. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  19. ^ Weitzman, Elizabeth (April 20, 2012). "Tribeca Film Festival: Highlights and Must-Sees". New York Daily News. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  20. ^ "Films & Events – Take This Waltz". Seattle International Film Festival. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
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  24. ^ "Now showing – Take This Waltz". Palace Films and Cinemas. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
  25. ^ Lincoln, Anna (July 15, 2012). "Heads Up: Take This Waltz". The Independent. Archived from the original on May 26, 2022. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
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  27. ^ "June 29 – July 1, 2012". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
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  29. ^ "Take This Waltz". Metacritic. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
  30. ^ a b Rothkopf, Joshua (April 4, 2012). "Top ten Tribeca Film Festival 2012 picks". Time Out New York. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
  31. ^ Holden, Stephen (April 15, 2012). "A Festival With Broader Horizons". The New York Times. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
  32. ^ a b Papamichael, Stella (August 14, 2012). "'Take This Waltz' review: Michelle Williams strays from Seth Rogen". Digital Spy. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
  33. ^ Patterson, John (August 11, 2012). "Take This Waltz unites Sarah Polley and Michelle Williams – and it works". The Guardian. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
  34. ^ a b Chang, Justin (September 12, 2011). "Take This Waltz". Variety. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  35. ^ Glasner, Eli (June 29, 2012). "Film Review: Take This Waltz". CBC News. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
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  38. ^ O'Hehir, Andrew (December 4, 2012). "How the New York critics jump-started the Oscar race". Salon. Retrieved December 8, 2012.
  39. ^ "2012 EDA Award Nominees". Alliance of Women Film Journalists. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  40. ^ Meyers, Jeff (December 11, 2012). "The Detroit Film Critic's Society Has Spoken… Almost". Metro Times. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
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  42. ^ Shanlin, Calum (January 17, 2012). "32nd Genie Awards Nominations Revealed". CBC News. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
  43. ^ "Filmfest Hamburg: Prices for the Best" (in German). Norddeutscher Rundfunk. October 7, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  44. ^ Snead, Elizabeth (October 7, 2011). "Michelle Williams Red Carpet Evolution: From 'Dawson's Creek' to the Oscars". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
  45. ^ "San Diego Film Critics Select Top Films for 2012". San Diego Film Critics Society. December 11, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  46. ^ Hopewell, John (July 27, 2011). "'Sea,' 'Skylab' vie at San Sebastian". Variety. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
  47. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (December 11, 2012). "'Django Unchained' lands eight St. Louis film critics nods". HitFix. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
  48. ^ Monk, Katherine (January 10, 2012). "The Artist wins best film honours from Vancouver film critics". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
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External links[edit]