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Cake finds Jennifer Aniston making the most of an overdue opportunity to test her dramatic chops, but it lacks sufficient depth or warmth to recommend for all but her most ardent fans.
All Critics (121)
| Top Critics (39)
| Fresh (58)
| Rotten (63)
As for Aniston, she gives an honest, well-intentioned performance, but it is marooned in an unsatisfying script whose emotional effects are unearned.
Whether or not Aniston ever gets another role like this one, I have a hard time imagining anyone else in it -- and that's the sign of a genuine actor.
The slack and purposeless direction leaves the entire cast emoting in a void.
Jennifer Aniston burrows into Claire's walking-wounded gait and eclipsed mood.
Cake could have used more layers.
"A thoughtful and frequently moving drama that insightfully illuminates what it's like to live with illness and agony."
The reason the process isn't compelling is because it's a bridge to nowhere; Cake is monotonous, rudderless, and doesn't make any real statements about depression, suicide, or the act of grieving.
Cake is well a little plain without icing and this film lacked the icing.
Aniston isn't brilliant because she managed not to wear make-up or not to wash her hair. She is brilliant because with every inch of her body she conveys pain. She's creepy, rigid, a plotline -- as a recovering invalid -- in her own right.
Aniston can't find within herself sufficient emotional colours to shade our response to one of life's victims who may have in some way contributed to her cavalcade of ills.
Aniston gives a good performance, but she's photographed like a star from Old Hollywood, where glamour always trumped character.
Submerged in her character's physical limitations and mental anguish, Aniston gets it right whether grimacing in pain or recoiling in anger and if Meryl Streep, Hilary Swank or Julia Roberts had played the part, I know they'd be up for an Oscar.
Wonderful and sympathetic acting from Jennifer Anniston, but despite potential, this movie fizzles half way through and is a bit of a bore.
A true showcase for Aniston's incredible - yet rarely seen - talent for dramatic roles, given how she brings so much weight to a safe drama that never takes risks and prefers the easy way with clichés, dreams and silly hallucinations that would befit more a movie made for TV.
A victim of chronic back pain tries to connect with the widower of a suicide.
All the lauds about Jennifer Aniston's performance are well-deserved. She plays both the condition - her character's chronic pain - and the objective of the scene with almost expert technique. She's constantly in character, though the character mutes Aniston's personal comic charm.
The film, however, is a slogging monotony, a structureless, flimsy, rough-shod thing with characters suddenly popping with no narrative motivation and a story that sags and lags like an atrophied nursing home resident.
Overall, I could only wish that the Aniston's talents had been put to better use.
Starting out, I think it prudent to say I think Jennifer Aniston is the epitome of strength, driven acting, and pure beauty. No one would argue that Aniston gives a career turning performance in this film, about a woman burdened with grief, and addicted to painkillers after a terrible accident. The general narrative of the cloistered, rich lady addicted to pills is subverted through a heartbreaking story of companionship in mourning.
Read more at http://www.bluefairyblog.com/reviews/cake
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