By Alejandro Cardenas |Staff Writer|
The movie presents the story of Claire (Aniston), an angry and pessimistic woman who became transfixed on the suicide of Nina (Anna Kendrick), a woman from her chronic pain support group.
Claire embarks on a journey to unravel the details of Nina’s suicide.
She develops an emotional relationship with Nina’s husband, all while dealing with her own personal tragedies and a growing addiction to pain medication.
The film asks philosophical questions about death and relationships while bringing forth discussion over prescription drugs and the process of grieving.
Aniston managed to brilliantly present Claire’s blunt snappiness and bring her humorous personality to life while at the same time subtly exposing the deep and constant pain Claire lives with.
Aside from Aniston’s performance, my favorite part about this film was the way in which the story line progressed.
The director would cleverly and slowly reveal details that had me growing increasingly curious and wanting to watch more.
This slow and suspenseful building of emotions leads to a climax that was a tear-jerker for many.
It had me wondering how a speck of dust had managed to get in my eye.
The characters in the film were easy to relate to but aside from Aniston’s character, only Sylvana (Adriana Barazza) brought something special to the film.
Sylvana is Claire’s housekeeper but, more profoundly, she serves as a sort of guardian angel for Claire throughout the movie as she watches over Claire’s emotional state and protects her from her addiction and suicidal thoughts.
Aniston and Barazza’s chemistry within the film created a bond between the characters that was actually believable.
Their friendship served as a key element of the film and helped create some of the natural sentiment that a good drama should have.
There were of course some things I didn’t like about the film.
The film’s post production elements, such as music and lighting, were trying too hard to make the film heartwarming even though the story was strong enough to do this on its own.
Kendrick, star from “The Twilight Saga” and “Pitch Perfect”, plays the role of Nina who appears to Claire throughout the film as a hallucination.
Her performance was a bit dry and the film would have been no different without her.
The screenwriter for this film was the fairly-unknown Patrick Tobin who hasn’t written a relevant film in almost 20 years.
Still, Barns and Tobin managed to put together a film that succeeded in grasping and keeping my attention with a well-developed story that transported me through numerous emotions.
Overall, I found “Cake” to be a touching film that was carried by the surprisingly exceptional performance of a refined and much more mature Aniston.
Her phenomenal performance alone makes this movie worth watching.