Cake: "I Won't Be Your Accident. I Can't Save You"

Director: Daniel Barnz
Writer:    Patrick Tobin
Starring: Jennifer Aniston
               Adriana Barraza
               Anna Kendrick
               Sam Worthington
               Felicity Huffman
               William H. Macy
               Mamie Gummer
               Chris Messina
               Lucy Punch
               Britt Robertson
Rating:    ***

Release Date: 20/02/2015

Daniel Barnz is a pretty inexperienced director, if that is a fair way to describe him, with only 3 other movies under his belt (including 2011's awful Beastly). It is an honest thing if i were to say that he is still a  bit rough around the edges, but it is a quality that has worked in his favour with this gritty style of movie. Cake is what some may say a comeback for Daniel Barnz, but it is also a chance for people to see Jennifer Aniston in an often unheard of dramatic role, something she has proven often that she is extremely capable of.

Jennifer Aniston
When we first meet Claire (Aniston), she is attending her chronic pain support group attempting to come to terms with the suicide of one of the other members, Nina (Kendrick). Each member is emotional and struggling, but the one person who appears unmoved by the death of Nina is Claire, it is now that we get an idea of her character. She is a woman who uses sarcasm to cover her pain and would rather push people away then let them understand her. She is dealing with a lot of emotional baggage as well as physical pain; and we learn more of this as the story moves forward.

As the story develops we learn that Claire's injuries were caused by a car accident that damaged her back and left scars on her face. But as well as the physical scars she has emotional scars, because due to that accident she lost her son.It is this that has seriously damamged her mentally, causing her to ruin her relationship with her husband (Messina) and become addicted to any and all pain medication going. The only person that is willing to stand by her,despite her vile personality and constant verbal abuse is the housekeeper Silvana (Barraza), who is probably her only real friend but quickly losing patience with her).

Adriana Barraza
The suicide of Nina begins to haunt Claire, to the point of an apparition of Nina appearing to her throughout her days. Claire struggles to come to terms with why this is happening so she begins to enquire about her deathThis prompts Claire to make more inquiries about Nina's death. This soon leads her to the doorstep of Nina's husband (worthington), and the two spark up an unlikely friendship. The film drags at points and there are quite a few scenes that seem pointless, rushed or that just don't fit in. Thankfully Jennifer Aniston's performance alone saves the film.

Mostly because of Barnz's direction and Aniston's performance it all starts to gel; and Claire's story begins to capture you. Barnz and screenwriter Patrick Tobin's ideas on how we all cope with pain differently finally make themselves clear. Once you as the audience get on board with Claire's emotional journey, it makes a good film, but sadly that takes a while. It's really quite moving and Barnz finds the right tone and amount of emotion without going overboard. Adriana Barraza is wonderful in this film and really helps to make the film worth watching. However the biggest props have to go to Jennifer Aniston who stunned me throughout, and her lack of Oscar recognition is a true crime to cinema.

Cake - Trailer