Cake has all the ingredients of a good film. It has a compelling narrative about emotional and physical pain which is refreshingly explored with wit and sleight of hand. The beautiful cinematography captures Claire’s (Aniston) paradigm of pain; showing how alternating fields of focus can be used to great effect.
Aniston is undeniably able, evoking empathy, not pity, for her twisted character.
Yet the film has no depth of flavour. The relationships are either clichés (the angry ghost, the doting housekeeper) or unexplored (the two ex-husbands). Folding itself up far too neatly, this promising film falls flat.
Cake is an emotionally moving film carried by Aniston’s sharp performance; however its shallow treatment of relationships means it fails to be more than the sum of its parts.
CAST: Jennifer Aniston, Adriana Barraza, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington
DIRECTOR: Daniel Barnz
WRITER: Patrick Tobin
SYNOPSIS: After surviving a car crash Claire lives with chronic pain, and becomes fascinated with the suicide and grieving husband of a fellow sufferer, Nina.