After a blurred trauma over the summer, Melinda enters high school a selective mute. Struggling with school, friends, and family, she tells the dark tale of her experiences, and why she has chosen not to speak.
A series of overlapping stories about four suburban families dealing with different maladies. Esther Gold's life is consumed by caring for her comatose son; Jim Train is sent into a ... See full summary »
Mary Kay Place
A massage therapist looking to overcome her addictions and reconnect with her son, whose father is an anthropologist in South America studying the Yanomani people, moves in with a wealthy ex-client in New Jersey.
'The Cake Eaters' is a quirky, small town, ensemble drama that explores the lives of two interconnected families coming to terms with love in the face of loss. Living in rural America, The Kimbrough family is a normally odd bunch; Easy, the patriarch and local butcher, is grieving over the recent loss of his wife, Ceci, while hiding a secret ongoing affair for years; Beagle, his youngest son who was left to care for his ailing mother, works in the local high school cafeteria by day but has a burning passion inside that manifests itself through painting street signs; and the eldest son, Guy, has been away from the family for years while pursuing his rock star dream in the big city until the day he learns of his mother's passing and that he's missed the funeral. Upon Guy's return home, relationships between the characters begin to unravel; Beagle's pent up emotions connect with Georgia Kaminski, a terminally ill teenage girl wanting to experience love before it's too late; Easy's long ... Written by
The Buffalo Niagara Film Festival (BNFF), 2008
Melissa Leo and Kristen Stewart starred together again in Welcome to The Riley's along with the late, great James Gandolfini. See more »
After Georgia spends the night in bed with Beagle, when she sits up to leave the bed, you can see bra strap marks on her back. Supposedly, she had been naked all night, so she shouldn't have any bra strap marks. See more »
You know what, you are not going anywhere without your wheelchair.
Mom, I don't need it yet.
Georgia, you are covered in bruises.
I know that! I'm the one that's dying remember, it's not you.
What did you say?
I just don't need you reminding me all the time.
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The film's title could baffle or be lost on you. Then you realize after watching it that it is one of the smartest titles written for a story. Really. I remember one cheeky poster I saw eons ago, "Life is short, eat dessert first!". And from there you know why this title is so apropos.
"The Cake Eaters" was made two years ago but was only released in theaters recently. Mary Stuart Masterson, yes that great actress who directed this little film, should thank high heavens for Twilight. Because before Twilight, Kristen Stewart was just that young indie actress recognized only by people who watch little indie films. We all know Twilight at present is still officially undead, which is good news for the leads' older films that were shelved and are now miraculously resurrected. Otherwise there was a very slim chance for this little film to go mass market. Because first, it is a "quiet" character-driven movie (no action sequences typical of blockbusters). Second, the cast is a group of actors and not stars.
But they are not really new actors. Which leads us to Bruce Dern, playing the widower Easy, who gave a very solid performance here. Aaron Stanford, playing the naive and reliable Beagle, has been making films since 2002. He reminds me of Michael Cera, by how he portrayed Beagle here. And then we have Kristen Stewart, who plays Georgia, a headstrong 15 year old with a degenerative disease (Friedreich's Ataxia). Kristen inhabited Georgia here. She plays her so convincingly you think she's born with the disease. You can imagine the twitching, slurred speech and uneven gait could take a toll yet she was consistent with it. The best thing is, though she played a girl who is physically weak, her Georgia shows strength and maturity. Kristen has received a lot of flak for underplaying her characters. But consider that here she achieves Georgia's strength with her restrained acting, opting to convey emotions through facial expressions and succinct delivery of lines. Georgia becomes not just a sick 15 year old girl but much more than that. We feel for her, but we do not pity her. Which is what all people with disabilities want anyway.
And who would have guessed that Guy, the black sheep brother, is played by the screenplay writer, Jayce Bartok. He writes better, we say, but kudos to him for churning a thoughtful mature story.
I am a fan of Masterson's and was so glad to learn she's gone into directing. Her steady hand has allowed this little film to achieve its purpose. The choice of making a film set in a small town reminds you of "Fried Green Tomatoes". This does have a feel of that film. Subtle , unassuming, natural. She worked hand in hand with real life brother Peter as cinematographer, who gave some stunning shots.
The OST is also worth mentioning, considering that Duncan Shiek has lent his talent. His relaxed introspective music accompanies this film well.
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