13. Take This Waltz
Director: Sarah Polley
Stars: Seth Rogen, Michelle Williams, Luke Kirby, Sarah Silverman
The fragile lead character in actress-turned-filmmaker Sarah Polley’s brave and original romantic dramedy Take This Waltz is a role that Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams was born to play. She naturally exudes vulnerability and effortless sexiness, so it’s easy to accept her as an unhappily married girl-next-door who struggles to curb her attraction to, and acute fascination with, an artsy charmer (Luke Kirby), in hopes of not cheating on her well-meaning but unexciting husband (a nicely restrained Seth Rogen).
Following Williams’ character every step of the way, Polley’s buoyant script never loses touch with reality. Whether she’s running back to her spouse’s arms or inching closer to another man’s forbidden, um, fruit, Williams blurs the line between conjuring up viewer contempt and earning audience sympathy. Especially in the film’s unforeseen third act, an intriguing turn of events that, through sharp writing, piercing dialogue, and Polley’s commitment to honesty, separate Take This Waltz from every other “chick flick” in the market.