CAKE gives Jennifer Aniston a showcase for her considerable dramatic skills, and made for a temporary escape valve from a long run of comedies that poorly utilized her talents in that direction. It was also possibly her best chance at an Oscar nomination, but she was shut out.
She’s terrific, and the 2014 movie should have garnered her at least a nomination. Script by Patrick Tobin has Aniston as ‘Claire Bennett’, the drugged-out, emotions-deadened survivor of a terrible accident, one that killed her child and left her with a scarred face and body, wracked with pain, physical and psychological. She’s marvelous conveying Claire’s assorted agonies.
The main subplot has Sam Worthington as another sufferer; his wife killed herself. Played by Anna Kendrick, she appears periodically to haunt Aniston’s character. The secondary subplot with housekeeper ‘Silvana'(Adriana Barraza) is quietly rewarding; Barraza a warm and charming presence. Directed by Daniel Barnz, lasting 102 minutes, the low-budget indie ($8,500,000–low-budget with a star player, anyway) didn’t find an audience, bringing back less than a quarter of its outlay. Critics were kind to the actress, less so to the film. Felicity Huffman has a few good moments, and William H. Macy shows up briefly. With Chris Messina, Britt Robertson, Mamie Gummer. Box office was a disappointing$2,200,000, tagging spot #166 for the year.