First of all, I’ll tell you what Cake isn’t. It Isn’t a comedy.
“But it’s got that girl from Friends in it!”
True, but forget about that for a minute. And all that stuff that goes along with her when you think about a film that’s got her in it.
“What? You mean it isn’t a vehicle for her to strip down to her undies and flaunt her smoking-hot body? With gags?”
“What is it then? And why would I want to bother seeing it if it isn’t what I’ve just said?”
Well, here’s the thing. I like Jennifer Aniston. Always have. I’ll even give her a little leeway for The Bounty Hunter (?!?). Well, maybe. Anyway, what we have with Cake is clearly an opportunity for Ms. Aniston to flex some of those acting muscles. And, I might add, to very good effect. Those pessimists out there may just point to Cake as a role for Ms. Aniston that’s ripe for awards season. In fairness that all depends on its release date. I’ve seen many performances over the years that have been overlooked simply because the film has been released at the wrong time of year and forgotten about when the nominations start to appear. Johnny Depp in Donnie Brasco anyone?
Cake is a study in outlook – grasping for some kind of solid hold onto one’s own perception of self and a place within and without your “world”. Coping strategies – whether professional or pharmaceutical – will help if you allow it or will become a crutch if your grasp is not strong enough. All these elements within Cake are handled with the right amount of care and detail as to gently finesse the viewer with just the right amount of information to let character development flow. There’s no hammer required; no pummeling away to make a point. Here we have writing of a high quality, being handled by a group of actors who are on the top of their game.
This is no one-woman show either. Ms. Aniston is supremely supported by Adriana Barraza, playing her “home help” Silvana. A role worthy of any supporting actor nomination, but one which has garnered none, unfortunately. Add to that great performances from Sam Worthington, Felicity Huffman and Anna Kendrick and you’ve got a wholly watchable experience dealing with some very weighty issues.
Let’s be honest. If Reese Witherspoon can get a nomination for the travesty that is Wild, it does beg the question “what does Jennifer Aniston have to do to get an Oscar nod?!” I don’t really get it. Cleary the Academy see something far more worthy in Ms. Witherspoon than they do in Ms. Aniston. Which is a shame. I was going to see Blackhat today. I do love a Michael Mann film. But I’m glad I saw Cake instead. It’s not a “feel-good” film, but it is worthy and definitely warrants a viewing.
Thank you for reading 🙂