6.4/10
34,726
171 user 167 critic

Cake (2014)

R | | Drama | 23 January 2015 (USA)
Trailer
2:29 | Trailer
The acerbic, hilarious Claire Bennett becomes fascinated by the suicide of a woman in her chronic pain support group. As she uncovers the details of Nina's suicide and develops a poignant relationship with Nina's husband, she also grapples with her own, very raw personal tragedy.

Director:

Daniel Barnz

Writer:

Patrick Tobin (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,334 ( 19)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer Aniston ... Claire Bennett
Adriana Barraza ... Silvana
Anna Kendrick ... Nina Collins
Sam Worthington ... Roy Collins
Mamie Gummer ... Bonnie
Felicity Huffman ... Annette
William H. Macy ... Leonard
Chris Messina ... Jason Bennett
Lucy Punch ... Nurse Gayle
Britt Robertson ... Becky
Paula Cale ... Carol
Ashley Crow ... Stephanie
Manuel Garcia-Rulfo ... Arturo
Camille Guaty ... Tina
Allen Maldonado ... Buddy
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Storyline

The acerbic, hilarious Claire Bennett becomes fascinated by the suicide of a woman in her chronic pain support group. As she uncovers the details of Nina's suicide and develops a poignant relationship with Nina's husband, she also grapples with her own, very raw personal tragedy. Written by Ben Barnz

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Forgiveness is a bitter pill to swallow. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, substance abuse and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marianne Jean-Baptiste and Lucy Walters were both considered for roles. See more »

Goofs

When Claire meets the girl who is on her way to Hollywood to become a star she asks where she is from. She says Boise, pronounced BOY-zee. Anyone from Boise would pronounce it BOY-see. See more »

Quotes

Claire Bennett: Tell me a story where everything works out in the end for the evil witch.
See more »


Soundtracks

John and James
Written by Herbert Frederick and Arthur Stanley Reid
Performed by New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble
Courtesy of Ska-Jazz Productions
See more »

User Reviews

 
More than an Aniston Oscar vehicle
12 January 2015 | by Emma_StewartSee all my reviews

It's not hard to guess why critics and audiences might be turned off by Cake. For the first half, Jennifer Aniston's Claire is snarky with a comeback for everything, manipulates and abuses everyone around her, and indulges in a constant, expensive pity party, and we aren't told why. Once the meat of the story reveals itself, however, Cake is astonishingly clever, delicate, and emotional.

Claire Bennett is the apparent victim of an unexplained accident that left her with chronic pain, a bad attitude, and a trail of broken relationships. After a woman in her pain support group commits suicide, Claire tracks down the woman's husband in a curiously misguided search for answers.

It's not the most unique premise, but screenwriter Patrick Tobin takes the story in unexpected directions, avoiding clichés and handling the subject matter with surprising grace. Director Daniel Barnz could have used some more time in the editing room -- certain side characters and subplots get either more or less time and background than they deserve; why Anna Kendrick's character made it past a rough cut is beyond me -- but in his hands a wordy screenplay becomes visually interesting, moves along at a comfortable pace and is backed by a reflective, unobtrusive score. His direction, and so the movie, really won me over at the climax, where after an hour and a half of sarcasm and one-liners Claire shuts up for once and finally lets the pain in. It's a beautiful, heartrending scene, and the decision to rest Cake on Jennifer Aniston's shoulders was absolutely the right one.

I never thought much of Adriana Barraza in Babel and have only seen her in a couple of other movies but she adds so many personal touches to the role of Claire's maid/cook/home health aide/best friend, she has a real talent for empathy and nuance. Jennifer Aniston, though, is the standout. She clearly reveled in the chance to break away from Rachel and she aced it. There's a tiny moment where Sam Worthington's character tells her she's messed up, and she plays the reaction shot so completely differently from anything she's done in the past - that's when I really started believing her in the role and she only got better from there. She nails her character's dry sense of humor and selfishness, and knows exactly how much charm to give her to make her watchable if not likable. It's a seriously committed, seamless, career-defining performance and she'd be my pick for this year's Oscar.

Verdict: watch it for Jennifer Aniston, walk away pleasantly surprised.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official Website

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

23 January 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cake See more »

Filming Locations:

Eagle Rock, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$916,179, 25 January 2015

Gross USA:

$1,951,776

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,433,850
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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