Director: Daniel Barnz
Claire Bennett (Jennifer Aniston) is suffering from chronic pain. She’s attending a support group when one meeting is sadly dedicated to a young woman named Nina ( Anna Kendrick), who committed suicide by jumping off a highway. When Claire bluntly comments on the conversation she shocks everyone around her and asked to seek support elsewhere. Meanwhile she seems to be haunted by Nina’s spirit. Due to these odd circumstances Claire finds herself fascinated by this young woman’s story.
It takes a while to collect the details of what really happens in Cake. Puzzle slowly built. At first we don’t know who Claire is, what she does, what’s her story, and why is she so damn miserable. And it’s intriguing. She’s covered with scars, and constantly aching it’s almost annoying, moaning and sighing every second, but I still wanted to keep going and see what’s the deal with this woman. The plot revolves around her and that shitty and awesome attitude of hers. It’s only on occasions that she lets her guards down and then we get to understand.
Claire’s character is rude and terribly honest which only makes her refreshing and funny. Jennifer Aniston gets 2 thumbs up for her amazing act. An academy award nomination worthy performance, no doubt. Her physical appearance in this film is the opposite of what she normally looks like. Not the usual bombshell. Aniston has taken a detour from her light romances once again (first time was in The Good Girl) only this time she’s rougher, meaner, and broken. She’s the woman we love to hate, only we can’t really. Eventually sympathy rises above all here, and we actually like her… I did, anyways. Anna Kendrick (who stars in my posts lately) is also pretty great as Nina. One thing I don’t really get, though… and excuse me for the bluntness, perhaps I’m overly affected by Claire’s attitude, but why is Kendrick always described as beautiful? she’s not really. Although, very good at her job, she’s, and I would dare say, slightly mousy… cute, but mousy. Other excellent performances by Adriana Barraza, William H. Macy, Sam Worthington and Felicity Huffman who also appears in Phoebe in Wonderland, another film directed by Daniel Barnz. Well supported by her fascinating co-stars, it’s Aniston’s playground, no doubt.
One thing that slightly bothered me was the film’s sequence towards the end. 103 minutes is not too long, but I wish the plot would’ve have tossed and turned a bit more. It seemed somewhat monotone. Don’t get me wrong, Cake is not a boring film, just required a little more sugar. I noticed myself drifting away a bit… not often, but sometimes. All in all, I think this film was watching worthy and I certainly loved watching Jennifer, and if it’s not obvious so far, I think she aced this role.