“I apologize to any married couples in the audience for any uncomfortable moments that may result because of this film,” said Sarah Polley as she introduced her latest directorial effort, “Take This Waltz,” at a Forevermark- and Peggy Siegal Co.-sponsored screening at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema on Thursday night.
It became clear what Polley meant as the plot, which centers on a happily married woman who grapples with her attraction to another man, unfurled. With all the emotional elements of a classic affair — the comfort, stability and occasional contempt of a long-term relationship versus the seduction of the mysterious unknown — the film offered a frank, provocative and often very funny take on infidelity, thanks largely to earnest performances by Michelle Williams, Luke Kirby and Seth Rogen.
“To me, there was an honesty to it, and there was no real ‘bad guy,’ ” said Kirby. “It was dealt with on a more human level. Its sincerity was quite beautiful.”
Williams, with her black lace-up bustier Altuzarra dress and Givenchy heels accentuating her petite frame, considered how she related to her nuanced, and divisive, character.
“You hope to feel like every character you play, but also very different so that you’re not destined to repeat yourself,” she said. “The ways that you relate to somebody…those are obvious, and you get them for free. But you kind of have to think more about where you don’t meet with the person.”
Nicole Trunfio, Aleksa Palladino, Genevieve Jones, Jeremy Kost, Tiki Barber, Arden Wohl, Aaron Stern and a bevy of models turned out for the screening before traipsing a few blocks south to the after party at Sons of Essex, where no one could stop talking about the film. Williams’ rumored beau Jason Segel was also there.
Polley, at the party with her newborn baby harnessed to her chest, wanted the audience to have heated conversations after the film. It appeared she got her wish.