Risk-taker Michelle Williams chats about doing the restless housewife dance in ‘Take This Waltz’
Photo by Magnolia Pictures
This time around, the stylish pixie delivers an emotionally rich, clear-eyed, and candid portrait of a housewife in heat. She plays Margot, a young Toronto wife struggling to maintain her marriage to Lou (a touching Seth Rogen) -- especially after she gets a whiff of the rickshaw-driving artist Daniel (Luke Kirby) who lives across the street.
Written and directed by one-time child star Sarah Polley ("Away From Her") and taking its title from a Leonard Cohen song, the movie is a sexy, funny-sad female-driven movie about fidelity and individual identity and what we often don't talk about when we talk about marriage. It pulls no punches, yet it radiates warmth and humor.
While Margot may not be the role that earns Williams a fourth Oscar nomination, she holds the movie together without one sticky false emotion. Men and women are bound to have different reactions to this film -- even sisters may disagree -- but the discussion it inspires will be revealing about the depth of the film and the emotional state of the viewers. Williams sat down with Yahoo! Movies in midtown Manhattan to jaw about her latest movie in a career that keeps leaping from high to high.
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Thelma Adams: Michelle, what motivates Margot?
Michelle Williams: Margot is on a precipice of entering womanhood and saying goodbye to her 20s and maybe realizing that she has to say goodbye to things she never fully appreciated. She was sleepwalking until this random, or fated, meeting with Daniel sparks an awakening -- for better or worse. Would it be better to stay in the cozy woozy marriage? I don't know.
TA: I totally connected with your character. She's looking for something in her marriage that she can't find in herself -- and she doesn't awaken to that realization until it's too late. I'm sure you've gotten a lot of different responses to this movie and Margot character -- what have they been?
MW: It's hard to say who is making mistakes in this movie and what they are. It depends a lot on the viewer. It's possible that Margot's making a mistake in thinking that happiness lies outside of herself and that this feeling of restlessness can be fixed by another person. Whenever I hear a woman ask, 'How could you leave him -- he was so nice and he loved you,' it always surprises me. If that was you or your dear friend, you would know them and think that they were so amazing that they deserved more. I don't think that nice and good are a holy grail. I think it's OK to ask for a little more.
TA: Why this part? Why now?
MW: What I love when I read a script is mystery. That's what compels me a lot of the time, feeling that there's something there to solve. I'm drawn to that internal mystery of a character that isn't spelled out and explained. It can be a disorienting position to not know how to feel in a film when you're used to being told how to feel.