12 items from 2015
While the specialty box office was dominated by Oscar nominees, a couple of snubbed films tried to make the best of the buzz that came with almost being nominated. First and foremost was Daniel Barnz's "Cake," which earned Jennifer Aniston Golden Globe and SAG nominations -- but missed out at the Oscars. The film -- which also stars Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, Anna Kendrick and Adriana Barraza (all notably past Oscar nominees -- went with an aggressive release strategy, opening in 482 theaters. The result wasn't especially hopeful, as "Cake" grossed $1,003,000 for a so-so $2,081 average. By no means a disaster, but one has to wonder what that number would have been had Aniston ended up with an Oscar nomination. Also opening were two films snubbed in the Best Documentary Feature and Best Foreign Language Film categories, respectively. Sony Classics sent Gabe Polsky's doc "Red Army" -- which details »
- Peter Knegt
Chicago – It’s been a while since I walked out of a screening so affected and feeling that I just experienced a truly honest, important film.
Sure, other ones have since, but back in 2007, “Once” especially made me feel that way long before the Oscars. I never would have expected it here and nor will you from this film you’ve probably heard little or nothing about, but a little engine that could called “Cake” has done that to me again. And you’d never guess who primarily made it possible: Jennifer Aniston in a visually unflattering, dramatic role.
While “Cake” as a film is receiving mixed reception, Aniston is being recognized for the career-growing range it’s proving for her beyond the “Friends” comedic stigma she’s trying to grow beyond. Though she tried with the dramatic romance “Love Happens” in 2009, it bombed. “Horrible Bosses” in 2011 and “Horrible Bosses 2 »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Here are the films opening theatrically in the U.S. the week of Friday, January 16th. (Synopses provided by distributor unless listed otherwise.) Wide The Boy Next Door Director: Rob Cohen Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman, John Corbett, Kristin Chenoweth Synopsis: "A psychological thriller that explores a forbidden attraction that goes too far." Cake Director: Daniel Barnz Cast: Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington, Jennifer Aniston, William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, Adriana Barraza Synopsis: "While struggling with her own trauma, a woman in a chronic-pain support group begins to investigate the suicide of a fellow group member and develops an unexpected relationship with the woman’s husband." Criticwire Grade Average: B- (16 reviews) The Loft Director: Erik Van Looy Cast: Karl Urban, James Marsden, Wentworth Miller, Eric Stonestreet, Matthias Schoenaerts, Isabel Lucas, Rachael Taylor, Rhona Mitra Synopsis: "The story of five guys who »
- Steve Greene
Title: Cake Director: Daniel Barnz Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Adriana Barraza, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington, Felicity Huffman and Chris Messina Testing your emotional limitations as you strive to fully understand such diverse things as your motivations, reactions and interactions with the people who have the most powerful influence in your life can be a daunting experience for anyone. But that exploration can be even more unnerving as you become so disenchanted with the way your life turned out that you intentionally push the people who care the most about you away, which ultimately causes you more heartbreak and pain. Director Daniel Barnz’s new independent drama, ‘Cake,’ powerfully and entrancingly chronicles the [ Read More ]
The post Cake Movie Review appeared first on Shockya.com. »
- Karen Benardello
Let Them Have It: Barnz Banks on Adept Aniston
Grief is a prickly emotion to convey within the confines of the indie American melodrama, a place that audiences have come to expect a certain amount of imaginable tragedy causing rippling aftershocks for its protagonist that force him or her to grow once more into a healed, even enlightened being. Along the way, a checklist of unlikely supporting cast mates imbue these reflections on coping with a sense of wishful thinking—we want these heroes and heroines of life’s harsh blows to have access to magical members of disenfranchised, socio-economically compromised denizens to guide them through a series of growing pains so that it’s possible to get right back to where they started from. If this sounds familiar, then you’ll be able to plug into the familiarity of Cake from director Daniel Barnz, which unfortunately feels more like »
- Nicholas Bell
In Cake, Jennifer Aniston gets seriously unglamorous as Claire, a mouthy, druggy, non-practicing lawyer with a mysteriously scarred face who’s driven around Los Angeles by her Mexican housekeeper, Silvana (Adriana Barraza) — her Sancho Panza — with her seat tilted all the way back to give her only a view of trees and sky. Her morbid bluntness gets her bounced from a touchy-feely women’s therapy group; and her fascination with Nina, a group member who threw herself off a highway overpass, gets her haunted by Nina’s hostile ghost (Anna Kendrick). Said ghost becomes even more antagonistic when Claire shows up at the doorstep of Nina’s grieving, hunky spouse (Sam Worthington) and curly haired 5-year-old (Evan O’Toole), as if trying to replace what she lost — and also be a replacement. There are broad hints about the nature of the tragedy that deformed Claire’s body and soul, but »
- David Edelstein
Angry, depressed, self-pitying and desperate to lose herself in a pharmaceutical haze: no character is more relatable this awards season than Claire Bennett (Jennifer Aniston), a woman simply unable to cope after a semi-recent catastrophe leaves her with chronic pain and facial and bodily disfigurement.
The movies are full of noble sufferers, but Claire refuses to be one of them. Being difficult (by being herself) is the only way she knows how to insist that she and her pain matter — and »
- Inkoo Kang
It’s not news that Jennifer Aniston is a good actress, but Cake does offer her a meatier, more serious role than she’s had in quite a while…and she delivers. What’s more, director Daniel Barnz has surrounded her with talented actors who bring out all the colors in Patrick Tobin’s dark, often sardonically funny screenplay. With all these ingredients it’s a shame that Cake overstays its welcome. Aniston plays a woman with chronic pain who is so hostile and abrasive that she’s asked to leave her support group. Her husband has left her, as well. The one person who is faithful to her, beyond all reason, is her Mexican housekeeper, played by the magnificent Adriana Barraza, whom you may ...
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- Leonard Maltin
Each year, screenwriters kill off enough offscreen children to fill a Chuck E. Cheese's. A dead son or daughter gives a movie the illusion of depth plus an easy explanation for whatever the script ladles on the surviving parents. Binge-drinking? Nymphomania? Sudden bouts of breakdancing? Blame the wee coffin.
In Daniel Barnz's Cake, divorced lawyer Claire's (Jennifer Aniston) dead-kid symptoms are twofold: Physically, she's in agony from the corpse-white scars swimming up her arms and legs and across her face after the car crash that killed her boy. Emotionally, she's an imperious bitch with the money to buy whatever apologies she owes. Her housekeeper Silvana (Adriana Barraza of Babel, fantastic) tolerates Claire's commands — Silvana is as much mother as mart »
Cake is a hard experience to stomach. That’s not because of Jennifer Aniston’s unflinching submersion into grief, not because filmmaker Daniel Barnz explores suicidal consequences through power, and not because we’re left quivering in an emotionally ravaged pile of marred feelings, but because Aniston’s character Claire Bennett deserves a brighter spotlight. Patrick Tobin’s screenplay attempts to blend darkly humorous encounters with a soul-searching dive into the deepest of deep ends, but there’s an invisible wall holding characters back from truly entering a realm of cinematic heartbreak.
Cake feels superficial – a flat story about exposing bottled emotions that never truly uncorks the essence of human spirituality – like buttercream-frosted discs of Styrofoam decoratively assembled to mimic something more succulent if bitten into. Barnz and Tobin only scratch the surface with their somber character piece, but watching Aniston embody a recovering victim provides a nice contrast to »
- Matt Donato
And the Oscar nominees are ... the whitest since 1998.
That's the truth as far as the acting categories are concerned. For the first time in 17 years, not a single person of colour stands to win an acting Oscar. [The Atlantic says the last entirely white Oscar nomination list was in 1995. We'll let them duke out which year it is.]
We here at Moviefone Canada looked at Oscar winners and nominees from the past decade to see how they stack up against the upcoming 2015 ceremony. We restricted ourselves to the acting, directing and screenwriting categories.
The definition of "people of colour," of course, varies widely. But when it comes to Oscar nominations, we largely considered people who don't come from an all-white heritage within the last couple of generations.
We plugged the numbers ... and 47 out of 350 nominees in the past 10 years went to people of colour.
That's 13 per cent ... and it's not enough. Especially when U.S. government statistics show that white people (excluding Hispanics or Latinos) make up only 62.6 per cent of the country's population. »
- Jesse Ferreras
A new UK trailer has been released for Daniel Barnz’s drama Cake which stars Jennifer Aniston in a critically-acclaimed performance as a sarcastic chronic pain sufferer. You can check it out below after the official synopsis…
Claire Simmons (Jennifer Aniston) is in pain. Her physical pain is evident in the scars that line her body and the way she carries herself, wincing with each tentative step. She’s no good at hiding her emotional pain either. Blunt to the point of searing insult, Claire’s anger seethes out of her with nearly every interaction. She has driven away her husband, her friends— even her chronic-pain support group has kicked her out.
The only one left in Claire’s otherwise solitary existence is her housekeeper- cum-caretaker, Silvana (Academy Award nominee Adriana Barraza), who barely tolerates her boss’ need for liquor and prescription pills. But the suicide of Nina (Academy Award »
- Gary Collinson
12 items from 2015
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