Review: Cake

This isn't going to be easy.

Claire Bennett (Jennifer Aniston, not the cheerleader from Heroes) suffers from chronic pain. She's pretty much closed off from everyone besides her maid, Silvana. (Adriana Barraza) In the wake of one of the members of her support group, Nina's (Anna Kendrick) suicide. She gets herself kicked out for being, to put it lightly, a total bitch. She then begins to hallucinate Nina and finds herself drawn to her life. This includes dropping in on Nina's widower, Roy. (Sam Worthington) 

Cake is a very interesting film that's handled poorly. I have to admit, I've been intrigued about this film for awhile, simply because Anna Kendrick talked about it so much on her Twitter account while she was filming it. It's too bad it didn't have more Nina in it. Jennifer Aniston delivers the best performance of her career for sure, but it's only because we're used to seeing her in romantic comedies. That's why it seems to good. I did think she really nailed the movements of someone that experiences chronic pain though, I found that to be very authentic. 

As for the plot, it's very muddled and drags for a film with a relatively short run time. They really hammer in the fact that Claire is hurting, but they spend so much time on that there's little to develop elsewhere. The supporting cast doesn't really get fleshed out, which is a shame because Barraza really shines. The film adds stupid subplots that they could've axed in favor of some actual development. Seriously, Britt Robertson's character is frustrating and pointless and there were 1000 other ways they could've handled the part of the story she "contributes" to.

I was hoping Cake would be an enjoyable little indie, but it completely lost its way.

Recommended: No

Grade: C

Memorable Quote: "Your last thoughts are important. They're all you get to take with you." - Nina (Anna Kendrick)

18 comments:

  1. LOL, this film...poor Jennifer Aniston. In retrospect, those Globe, SAG and BFCA noms almost seem cruel...getting her hopes up and then...destroying them. Her face at every awards show proves it.

    You are no Scarlett O'Hara!

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    1. I know! It's not like Cotillard in Rust and Bone and Jolie in A Mighty Heart where they actually had a chance. I felt bad.

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  2. I am probably in a minority, but I like Jennifer Aniston. Granted she's been in some crappy roles, but I think she has more talent than she's given credit for. Even in Friends, I think she gave some impressive performances in later episodes. I will probably see this, eventually, for her and Kendrick, but I'll keep my expectations modest.

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    1. Oh, I like her too. I never watched Friends, but I did enjoy her in The Good Girl, and she's definitely not a bad actress. I just think if any other normally dramatic actress had this part, it wouldn't be getting SAG and GG noms.

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  3. I have very little interest in seeing this movie. Thanks for this write-up. Confirms my suspicions of mediocrity. I might watch it one day to see Aniston in this sort of role. That seems to all it has.

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    1. This is what my theater decided to replace Inherent Vice with before I could catch that one. Such a bummer.

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  4. *sigh* I do like Jennifer Aniston in The Break-Up and He's Just Not That Into You. I'll rent this one

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    1. Definitely a rental. I hope you enjoy it when you see it.

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  5. I was mildly curious about seeing Aniston deliver a heavy performance, but after reading this post, I'd be better served watching some of the other great performances this year, huh?

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    1. Yes, there are far better ones out there. Though this could be a rental.

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  6. I'm only interested to see this one to see all the hype around Aniston's performance. I've only seen her in her rom-coms too, but I heard she's good in The Good Girl?

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    1. She is very good in The Good Girl. That's probably my favorite film of hers.

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  7. I really didn't like the film itself, but I thought Aniston and Barraza were good. I also felt kind of bad for her Oscar 'snub', since she had been receiving nominations from most of the main precursors, and then... nothing. Still, I'm incredibly happy Marion got her nomination. She was sublime in that film.

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    1. I'm looking forward to Two Days One Night. Maybe this film will encourage Aniston to pick more dramas then comedies. She's capable of handling them.

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  8. Aniston's campaign has soured me on this movie, but I do want to check it out. Maybe I'll love her performance. :/

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    1. I believe it. She definitely tried too hard there, the rest of the movie didn't back up her performance. And it still wasn't one of the best of the year.

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  9. I thought the film was very flawed, but I have to admit, Jennifer Aniston was very good. Although you wouldn't believe how thrilled I was when Marion Cotillard took her spot. I can understand the slight backlash towards Aniston over the aggressive campaign she mounted. But to be fair, Cake had a smaller distributor that I'm sure didn't have the dough to pull for the film.

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    1. That's a very good point about the distributor. It just looked bad because it was all Aniston. But she was good, so I'll give her that. I have yet to see Two Days, One Night but I'm really looking forward to it.

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