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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Cake (2014)

A woman (Jennifer Aniston) suffers from chronic pain due to an automobile accident that killed her child and left her face and body scarred. It has also left her angry, bitter and sarcastic. Neither the support group she is a part of nor the physical therapy seems to be helping. But the suicide of a fellow support group member (Anna Kendrick) sends her on journey that may save her. This low budget independent film directed by Daniel Barnz and written by Patrick Tobin is relatively plotless. That in itself isn't a bad thing but the film needs a stronger focus, it meanders too much. But it offers a plum part for Aniston who, fully committed, gives a mercifully unsentimental performance. This is a woman in great pain (physical, psychological, emotional) and Aniston never lets us forget it. Yet she never asks for our pity or sympathy. I's a performance strong enough and good enough that you just wish it were a better film. The episodic nature of the narrative is unsatisfying because even a non linear film needs to be cohesive and CAKE has some interesting ideas but ultimately it's too vague. The large cast includes William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, Sam Worthington, Mamie Gummer, Chris Messina, Lucy Punch, Misty Upham and Adriana Barraza (BABEL) giving a strong performance as Aniston's put upon housekeeper.

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