What good timing by our Cinema Society! Jennifer Aniston snagged both SAG and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress this week and today was our screening with Aniston in attendance for the Q&A afterwards. Now that I’ve seen the film and her performance, I can say unequivocally that her recognition is well deserved. She’s superb and will likely get an Oscar nom as well.
She plays Claire, a woman in LA who’s visibly scarred and in both physical and emotional pain. (She was in a terrible car accident.) She pops Percocet and Oxycontin like candy, gets kicked out of her support group for her bitchy behavior, has pushed away her husband and alienates just about everybody except her caregiver, Silvana, an immigrant from Mexico. She thinks about killing herself constantly and even gives suicide a couple of tries. Needless to say, this isn’t an easy movie to watch and it’s a huge departure for the normally comic Aniston.
How she fights her way back to the land of the living and functioning, how she copes with the losses she’s suffered, how she kicks her addiction are all answered in satisfying storytelling. Actually, the storytelling in itself is a great story. At the Q&A, we learned that the script came from a 49-year-old man who had entered it in a screenwriting contest. The director read it, loved it, and the rest is history.
I have nothing but praise for “Cake” – not a single critique. It was well made on every level and I applaud Aniston for taking a leap and going out of her comfort zone. She was charming at the Q&A too, very chatty with the audience and appreciative that we’d packed the theater on a Sunday morning.
Go see this movie when it comes out. You will be moved.