Will Michelle Williams Get Nominated for an Oscar Next Year, Too? This Trailer Suggests as Much.

Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 6 2012 5:52 PM

Trailer Critic: Take This Waltz

Still of Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen in Take This Waltz
Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen in Take This Waltz

Still © Magnolia Pictures 2012

It’s okay to be a little romantic and twee sometimes, right? The trailer for Take This Waltz, the sophomore feature from writer-director Sarah Polley, makes a strong case. Starring Michelle Williams in a love triangle with Seth Rogen and Luke Kirby (Sarah Silverman rounds out the main cast), Take This Waltz looks to be a lush romance and a strong vehicle for Michelle Williams, who—if you can bear to think of next year already—is already attracting some Oscar buzz for the role.

Polley herself garnered an Oscar nomination for her debut film, Away from Her—for best adapted screenplay—which also earned rave reviews across the board, a spot on Slate movie critic Dana Stevens’ year-end top ten list, and a best actress nod for Julie Christie. Here Polley gives us a series of dreamy tableaus including hands pressing against each other through a window, a spin on a tea-cup ride, and the now almost obligatory underwater shot (not to mention an indie pop song that actually uses the word “aeroplane”). But the trailer makes all these clichéd images feel fresh. By the time Williams finished her monologue about a shaft of light that makes her cry, I’d gotten over its resemblance to a certain infamous plastic bag, and was so mesmerized I had missed what the whole speech was about.

Turns out that speech is all about not succumbing too much to preciousness. And it’s that self-awareness—an inter-title says, “it’s a kind of longing … a kind of idiotic, marvelous, ridiculous longing”—that makes this trailer work. Also: Seth Rogen looks convincing as a romantic lead for the first time (the newly slick and slim Jonah Hill probably isn’t far behind), and Luke Kirby looks pretty dreamy, too.

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Take This Waltz, out in limited release on June 29, might be the best vehicle for twee in years—and I’m okay with that.

Grade: B+

Previously:

Trailer Critic: Game Change
Trailer Critic: Friends With Kids
Trailer Critic: Prometheus
Trailer Critic: The Hobbit
Trailer Critic: Rock of Ages

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 

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