Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘Cake’ Review: Starring Jennifer Aniston, Adriana Barraza & Anna Kendrick

A story about tremendous loss, heartbreak, addiction, forgiveness and recovery, Cake is a beautiful and inspiring film driven by a note-worthy performance from Jennifer Aniston.

Director Daniel Barnz’s (2012’s Won’t Back Down) film follows Claire (Jennifer Aniston), a woman who suffers from chronic pain from an injury that happened years ago. Claire attends a weekly support group led by stern yet hopeful Annette (Felicity Huffman), that was recommended by her doctor in order to help her grieve and recover.

Claire’s husband (Chris Messina) left her after her unwillingness to get better and her alienation from the world, so Claire depends on her caretaker Silvana (Adriana Barraza), who helps around the house and drives Claire to the drug store when she needs her medicine. When one of the members of Claire’s support group Nina (Anna Kendrick) commits suicide, Claire becomes fascinated with her death and forms an unexpected relationship with Nina’s husband Roy (Sam Worthington). An unlikely friendship occurs and this relationship is the start of something new for Claire, who begins to find a way to deal with her anger, depression and pain.

cake jennifer aniston

Jennifer Aniston is exquisite as Claire; the woman stricken with grief and pain after a terrible event occurs and affects the course of her life forever. Aniston is the complete driving force of the film and lifts Patrick Tobin’s screenplay to a memorable level. At times, the story drifts, but its Aniston who brings it back into focus with her raw incredible performance. And although Anna Kendrick has little screen time to play with, she and Aniston have a fun and wild chemistry as support-group friends. Sam Worthington surprises as the widower who befriends Claire and Adriana Barraza is hilarious and endearing as Claire’s housekeeper and at times, best friend.

In a tour-de-force performance by Jennifer Aniston, Cake is a beautiful film that speaks on the sensitive subject of pain-medication addiction and how a tragic accident can change one’s life forever. However the film’s most important theme is how we can overcome such painful events with strength, forgiveness and love.

Cake is playing at the Angelika Mosaic in Fairfax, VA.

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