Director – Daniel Barnz (Won’t Back Down)
Cast – Jennifer Aniston, Adriana Barraza, Sam Worthington, Anna Kendrick, Mamie Gummer, Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy
Plot – Emotionally disturbed and pain riddled Claire (Aniston) finds herself becoming ever more fascinated by the suicide of Nina (Kendrick) one of her fellow support group members, leading her on a journey that will unearth her own personal tragedies.
“Tell me a story where everything works out in the end for the evil witch”
Review by Eddie on 30/11/2015
A dark comedy that struggles to juggle the balance of awkward scenarios and serious moments, Cake is a film that seemed signposted as a vehicle to attract awards attention for its committed leading lady Jennifer Anniston, but while it does indeed remind us all that Rachel from Friends can in fact act, it’s a vehicle that never gets out of 1st gear.
Cake is the type of film you can see the Coen Brothers making and making quite well and deep down there is an affecting and undoubtedly relevant story to be told here but director Daniel Barnz doesn’t manage to either draw our affections towards Aniston’s Claire Bennett or her plight and with a somewhat fragment way of telling the narrative, Cake suffers badly from a lack of quality construction.
From a point quite early on in the picture we have a fairly certain idea of what’s happened to turn Claire into a cantankerous prescription drug taking horror and you can’t help but escape the feeling that the films emotional wallop is something promised but never given despite Aniston giving it her best.
Cake isn’t a revelation of Aniston’s acting talents, she’s shown form in roles in films like The Good Girl and in comedic turns in films like Office Space, but Cake is perhaps her most “look at me” type role and while she is quite good there’s little doubt in my mind that the un-likeability of Claire as a character destroyed any chances she had of making a mark in the awards season even though the actress categories were sadly quite light on.
Claire is a tricky character and Aniston spends a large amount of screen time either being downright angry or withering in pain due to her injuries sustained in a recent mishap and after a while it seems as though Aniston goes through the same old motions.
There are small glimmers of a better film within Cake but its unbalanced tone of comedy and drama never really mixes and with Aniston surrounded by some forgettable turns from the likes of Anna Kendrick and Sam Worthington the film never ads up to the sum of its parts and is a dramedy tale likely to fall into oblivion sooner rather than later.
2 empty bottles of pills out of 5