Friday, April 24, 2015

(Spoilers) Cake Review

***SPOILER WARNING: Spoilers may be found in the post below about VARIOUS ITEMS. And I'm going to add in a bit of filler text here to limit how much of the main article gets shown in a preview. That should take care of most of it. Hopefully. And away we go. SPOILER WARNING. ***

 Decided to rent this because of how much I loved the trailer. Speaking of the trailer, it introduced me to Haerts and I've been looping their album for weeks now.

The story of Claire (Jennifer Aniston), a woman suffering from chronic pain and other recent losses, and her recovery. A drama as far as I could tell.

Good or Bad?
A more detailed summary of the story would be a woman with chronic pain who is considering following in the footsteps of an acquaintance who gave up. I wasn't aware of how much this movie was going to be about suicide. The tone was set pretty early with the opening scenes being about Nina's (Anna Kendrick) very recent suicide. From what I recall, Claire "explored" the act twice in reality, accidentally overdosed on drugs once, and dreamt about it once more.

Another major plot point that slowly developed during the movie was that she also lost her son in the accident that caused her chronic pain. This was the key that seemed to tie everything together. At the end, it felt like the movie was mainly about her mourning the loss of her son. A large component of the relationship she developed with Nina's husband was about dealing with loss.

The first thing I noticed was that a lot of the scenes in the trailer appeared to be from the first ten minutes of the movie. William H. Macy had what was essentially a cameo role. Claire and Silvana (Adriana Barraza), who played the housekeeper, had the most screen time. Next up were probably Sam Worthington and Anna Kendrick.

Acting was excellent in my view. Jennifer Aniston's character looked like someone who was in deep physical pain throughout. I didn't notice her miss a beat. What really made the performance standout for me was how she was able to express a constant pain on the inside as well. Another standout was Adriana Barraza, Claire's housekeeper. The love she showed Claire despite the lack of reciprocation was apparent throughout. I also enjoyed seeing Sam Worthington and the development of his relationship with Claire. Anna Kendrick's unwelcome visits to Claire added some interesting interactions.

I loved the grand exterior shots throughout the movie. Most scenes looked pretty well shot and framed to me. There didn't seem to be very heavy use of music compared to something like Silver Linings Playbook though -- many scenes were set to songs from popular bands in that picture. Music was obviously used, but I don't remember a large selection of popular songs or orchestral themes. However, Billy Joel did show up. Possibly budget related?

Great movie, would love to watch Cake again many times over. I enjoyed it and it ended on a fairly positive note. If it didn't, I probably wouldn't be able to watch it again.

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