Cake [ Home]
Cake is really all about one thing – reminding people that Jennifer Aniston can actually act, despite many theories to the contrary. And in that capacity it’s a very successful piece of work.
The 46 year old actress is a bit of a revelation here. She’s delved into the dramatic world before, but it’s been more than a decade since she starred in The Good Girl and her recent big screen efforts have tended to be spotty comedy fare for the most part. But Claire is a complex and finely crafted character here. The scars are obvious on her face and body but they’re just as noticeable in her manner and her mind. In fact, the scars might even detract from Aniston’s performance which sidesteps the cliché of being merely bitchy to instead show something a heck of a lot more impactful: a woman who is battling something she might not be able to overcome. It’s a genuinely impressive starring role for the former Friends actress, but Aniston manages to make it feel raw and real with apparent ease, rarely sinking to a moment of grandstanding for the sake of it. The high praise for her performance is fully justified. Unfortunately the rest of the film never quite lives up to that promise. The narrative is a meandering beast, with the end of the story always in doubt. That works up to a point, but the second hour really starts to drag as minor characters are introduced with no real purpose and the things start to get tiresome. The film is absolutely worth seeking out for Aniston’s performance alone, trying to survive with a complex series of choices and consequences which would be incredibly hard to live with. But the whole affair never really finds its feet, with an overly long running time and little for the accomplished supporting cast to do.