Sometimes, when actors get to a certain point of fame, either too low or too high, they try their hand at directing. Most suck balls. For every Affleck (Yes, he’s a great director.) there’s a Shatner or a Spacy (Who direct worse than they chew scenery.) to fuck things up. Take This Waltz is the second full length film by Sarah Polley and it manages to buck most preconceived notions I have about uppity douchebag actors trying to direct.
You probably know Polley if you grew up watching Disney in the early 90’s. She was a child actor, the main character of a bad ass Green Gables spin off: Avonlea. Look it up. They dressed like pioneers and do sweet ass things like drive horse carts and milk cows. It was fucking awesome.
Anyway, she decided to direct a film where Jen from Dawson’s Creek cheats on the Fat Guy From Knocked Up. It’s not that she wants to but, well, she’s married to the Fat Guy From Knocked Up. And, sure, he’s funny but he doesn’t bang her much and it frustrates her. Then a Suave Artist moves across the street and begins to seduce Jen From Dawson’s Creek. At first she’s all, “Stay away from my cooter, you cad.” But soon enough she’s all, “Touch my coochie, you cad.”
There are also a couple of boob shots. SWEET!!!!!
It’s a pretty straight forward plot that’s helped by Polly’s simple direction. Polley doesn’t do too many fancy shots or rely on artsy fartsy bullshit to sell her indie. Instead she pretty much just allows her actors to do most of the heavy lifting.
That’s not an insult, especially with a film like this. It’s all character driven. There’s really no need show off when you’ve got a great cast.
Another area where Polley excels is the soundtrack. She picks songs with maximum impact and, sure, most of the time their typical indie-acustic-crap but, in the tone of the film, it works.
So, welcome Polley, to the halls of Actor/Directors Who Don’t Suck Balls. Go ahead and sit over there by Affleck for a while. You have my permission to punch him if he talks about Daredevil.