Review: Cake (2014)



The perennially underrated Jennifer Aniston excels in Cake, delivering a topnotch performance in Daniel Barnz’ otherwise half-baked drama. Scarred by a devastating accident, pill-popping Claire (Aniston) hobbles around in constant pain, barking orders at her maid (Adriana Barraza) and ousting everyone else. When a woman (Anna Kendrick) from her support circle commits suicide, Claire is compelled to question her own existence. Cake is intermittently captivating as a prickly, unexpectedly funny study of a woman traumatised by her past and unsure of her future, but is confined by Barnz’ plain script. The narrative ticks over common conventions  to reach its end point, which comes with less of an emotional impact as a result of the slow build-up. The film, then, is saved by its cast. Aniston is the foundation for which Cake works, but the supporting cast – Barraza and Felicity Huffman as the stony support circle leader, in particular – are also instrumental.

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