By Craig Singleton (Wigan, England)
“New things get old.” This is the best line in what feels like a personal story by the way it’s directed by Sarah Polley in her second feature length film. It tries to show how sometimes you might just know when a relationship or even a marriage has run its course, love grows smaller and can come to an end. The best thing this film does for me though is not portray the main character as an antagonist.
It follows writer Margot played by Michelle Williams who’s married to cook Lou played by Seth Rogen who actually surprised me with his performance in this. The marriage is a good one. Lou is sweet and obviously loves Margot, but they lack passion having gotten so comfortable with each other. Margot meets artist Daniel on a trip and they have chemistry. Things look like they could happen when they find out they’re actually neighbors.
Like I said, Polley doesn’t highlight Margot in a bad way. She’s just an individual who doesn’t quite know what or whom she wants in her life to make her happy. Throughout the film you see her and Lou happily in love, laughing in each other’s company, but also you see a distance as he has a goal to get his cookbook out which slightly puts her out. The relationship building between her and Daniel isn’t exactly a smooth ride as their personalities clash. This however, doesn’t take away how they feel about one another.
Sarah Polley’s presence is strongly felt in showing this story unfold. Not going down a typical romantic route, she instead relies on carefully selected shots and selects a rich color tone that’s reminiscent of 2001’s Amelie. The cinematography is crisp and well thought, however the only thing which let the film down sometimes was her writing. It often missed the mark on unleashing emotion and didn’t build up conversations in a particularly fluid way, making it clunky at times.
The film is well acted by the main characters. Seth Rogen was very different to how he normally is. He had innocence and sweetness. He only missed on the emotion in a very important scene. I was waiting for him to blow me away with his reactions, but the editing was at fault here. Instead of shooting one shot of him dealing with being told something, the viewer was shown in numerous five second shots which spoiled the moment for me.
My score for the film is 83%. Lowest mark for writing, highest for cinematography. It’s a different look in a romantic drama with strong characters and unique shots within. Video killed the what?