Cake (2014 film)

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Cake
Cake poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDaniel Barnz
Written byPatrick Tobin
Produced byBen Barnz
Jennifer Aniston
Kristin Hahn
Courtney Solomon
Mark Canton
StarringJennifer Aniston
Adriana Barraza
Felicity Huffman
William H. Macy
Anna Kendrick
Sam Worthington
CinematographyRachel Morrison
Edited byKristina Boden
Music byChristophe Beck
Production
companies
Distributed byCinelou Releasing
Release date
  • September 8, 2014 (2014-09-08) (TIFF)[1]
  • December 31, 2014 (2014-12-31)[2]
Running time
102 minutes[3]
CountryUnited States
LanguagesEnglish
Spanish
Budget$7–10 million[4]
Box office$2.9 million[5]

Cake is a 2014 American drama film directed by Daniel Barnz, written by Patrick Tobin, and starring Jennifer Aniston, Adriana Barraza, Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, Anna Kendrick, and Sam Worthington. It debuted in the Special Presentations section of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.[6]

Cake received mixed reviews and was a box-office bomb, grossing $2.9 million against its $7-10 million budget. However, Aniston's dramatic performance received positive reviews and brought her a nomination at the Golden Globe Awards and another at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Plot[edit]

A year after surviving a car accident that killed her son, former attorney Claire Bennett struggles with chronic pain, making her hostile. Silvana, is her housekeeper, caretaker and chauffeur, looking after all of her needs. Since the accident, Claire rides lying down while she drives her everywhere.

Her pain medication abuse stems from not accepting her son's death (for which she feels responsible), and Nina's suicide from her chronic pain support group. Claire distances herself from her husband Jason, asking him to move out. She then has to leave the support group after describing Nina's suicide in detail. Relying on opioids percocet and oxycontin, she eventually has to buy it illegally in Tijuana. Abusing alcohol, she dreams vividly and hallucinates about Nina.

At her pool physical therapy Claire is uncooperative; her physical therapist will inform the doctor she hasn't improved in six months, meaning her pain medication could get cut off. After her session, Claire jumps into the pool with body weights - seemingly to kill herself. She stays on the bottom for a long time before rising to the surface.

At the threat of a lawsuit, Annette gives Claire Nina's home address. Visiting with a lie about having lived there as a child, as Nina's husband Roy was tipped off by Annette he confronts her as she is leaving. Asking him what he would say to his wife now. He responds that he hates Nina for ruining his and his son's lives. Bonding over their loss and isolation, Claire and Roy go to Nina's grave, and he hangs a wind chime. She surprises him one night, taking Nina's leftover Percocet. Nina returns in Claire's dreams, chastising her for using people.

During lunch with Roy and his son, Leonard, the man responsible for the car accident shows up at Claire's to apologize, racked with guilt. She physically attacks him, releasing some of her pent up anger. Afterwards, she unconsciously overdoses on the pain medication, then forces herself to vomit before passing out. Taken to the hospital, she dreams of Nina presenting her with a birthday cake with six lit candles. Dream Nina explains her guilt of not being able to make a homemade birthday cake for her son, which she shared in group.

Claire is discharged from the hospital and stays drug free, asking Silvana to drive her to Riverside drive-in, where she had her first date with Jason. Wandering away, she lies on the nearby railroad tracks, and hallucinates a conversation with Nina, who gets Claire to admit she was a good mother. Then she hears Silvana calling her. Getting up, Nina vanishes. Silvana launches into Spanish against Claire for abusing everyone and pushing away Jason, who is also suffering the loss of their son. She is interrupted when Claire notices the car has been stolen, forcing them to stay in a motel and get a rental to return to LA the next day.

They catch Becky, a girl from Idaho on her way to LA the next day, trying to steal Claire's purse. Claire brings her home to make her a homemade cake. Silvana later wakes Claire when she sees Becky has stolen the purse, but left a quality cake. She takes it to Roy for his son's birthday, to thank Nina. Visiting her son's grave, Silvana hangs a wind chime in a nearby tree. On the ride home, Claire finally sits upright in the car.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

On February 10, 2014, it was announced that Jennifer Aniston would play the lead in Cake.[7] Daniel Barnz, the director, said "Of the zillions of Jennifer Aniston fans, I might be the biggest one of all. I've especially loved her more dramatic performances, and I can’t wait to watch her tackle a role that has such a brilliantly funny voice and so much raw pain (hats off to writer Patrick Tobin). I’m honored to be collaborating with Ben, Kristin and Courtney, and it’s exciting that Cake will be the first film under the Cinelou banner. It feels like we’re all taking a leap of faith together, and that’s pretty thrilling."[7] On March 15, Mexican actress Adriana Barraza was also announced in the cast of the drama.[8] The rest of the cast was revealed on April 1.[9]

Principal photography, which took place in Los Angeles, began April 3, 2014[10] and ended May 6.[11]

Release[edit]

Cake was released in select theatres on December 31, 2014 by Cinelou Films,[12] before going on general release on January 23, 2015 by Freestyle Releasing.[13][14] The film was released on DVD & Blu-ray April 21, 2015.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

Jennifer Aniston's performance was particularly praised.

Cake received mixed reviews from critics. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 48% based on 126 reviews, with an average rating of 5.83/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "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."[15] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 49 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[16]

At the Toronto premiere, the cast received a standing ovation. The performances of Jennifer Aniston and Adriana Barraza have been highly praised by some critics.[17] Pete Hammond of Deadline described Aniston's performance as "heartbreakingly good... There are really no tricks to this performance. It's raw and real, poignant and unexpected."[18] Clayton Davis of Awards Circuit spoke of Aniston's performance as "the single best performance by an actress this year... Aniston's performance is something that most actresses will pray to be able to achieve, but never come close."[19] In his review for HitFix, Gregory Ellwood wrote that "Aniston makes you believe in Claire's pain. She makes you believe this character is at her lowest point and only she can pull herself out of it. There is no Oscar scene. There is no massive crying fit. It's a complete performance from beginning to end and she deserves the appropriate accolades for it."[20] Of Aniston's performance, David Nusair of Reel Film Reviews wrote "...the actress steps into the shoes of her thoroughly damaged character to an often revelatory extent."[21] Sheri Linden of the Los Angeles Times also spoke positively of Aniston's performance, writing "Aniston lends the role an impressively agonized physicality and brings ace timing to the screenplay's welcome gallows humor."[22]

Accolades[edit]

Awards
Year Award Category Recipient Result
2013 Nantucket Film Festival Showtime Tony Cox Screenplay Competition Patrick Tobin Won
2014 People Magazine Awards Movie Performance of the Year – Actress Jennifer Aniston Won
Capri Hollywood International Film Festival Best Actress Won
2015 Santa Barbara International Film Festival The Montecito Award Won
Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Actress Nominated
Gold Derby Awards Best Actress Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama Nominated
Village Voice Film Poll Best Actress Nominated
Golden Raspberry Award The Razzie Redeemer Award Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Nominated
Casting Society of America Low-Budget Drama Mary Vernieu, Lindsay Graham Nominated
PRISM Awards Feature Film Daniel Barnz Nominated
Golden Trailer Awards Best Independent Nominated
Shanghai International Film Festival Golden Goblet Award for Best Feature Film Nominated
Shanghai International Film Festival Golden Goblet Award for Best Screenplay Patrick Tobin Won
CineStory Fellowship Award – Feature Screenplay Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ "TIFF Opening Press Conference - Festival 2014". YouTube. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  2. ^ http://carpetbagger.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/12/18/jennifer-aniston-on-cake-and-empathy/
  3. ^ "CAKE (15)". British Board of Film Classification. December 19, 2014. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  4. ^ McNary, Dave (February 9, 2014). "Jennifer Aniston Starring in Indie Drama 'Cake'". Variety.
  5. ^ "Cake Box Office".
  6. ^ "Toronto Film Festival Lineup". Variety. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Tartaglione, Nancy (February 9, 2014). "Jennifer Aniston To Star In 'Cake'; First Pic Under New Cinelou Banner". Deadline.
  8. ^ Sneide, Jeff (March 14, 2014). "Jennifer Aniston Joined by Brad Pitt's 'Babel' Co-Star in 'Cake' (Exclusive)". The Wrap.
  9. ^ Sneide, Jeff (April 1, 2014). "Sam Worthington, Anna Kendrick, Chris Messina Join Jennifer Aniston in 'Cake' (Exclusive)". The Wrap.
  10. ^ "Jennifer Aniston On The Set Of 'Cake'". Archived from the original on April 3, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  11. ^ "D Films". Facebook. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  12. ^ shukla, Braj. "Jennifer Aniston Biography". The Great biography. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  13. ^ Bloom, David. "Jennifer Aniston On Connecting With Her 'Cake' Character – The Contenders VIDEO". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  14. ^ "Cake". Freestyle Releasing. Archived from the original on October 3, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  15. ^ "Cake (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  16. ^ "Cake". Metacritic. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  17. ^ Sam Griffiths. "Cake". FilmPhorThought. Retrieved July 9, 2015./
  18. ^ Pete Hammond. "Jennifer Aniston Sparks Oscar Buzz With 'Cake' Movie In Toronto - Deadline". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  19. ^ "Film Review: Cake Starring Jennifer Aniston". AwardsCircuit.com - By Clayton Davis. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  20. ^ "Review: Jennifer Anistons impressively raw performance tells her critics to eat Cake". HitFix. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  21. ^ "2014 TIFF Update #7 - Reviews by David Nusair". reelfilm.com. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  22. ^ Los Angeles Times (December 30, 2014). "Review: Jennifer Aniston's never looked worse or been better in 'Cake' - LA Times". latimes.com. Retrieved January 25, 2015.

External links[edit]