Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Why Haven't I Seen That?: CAKE

Welcome to a new installment of WHY HAVEN'T I SEEN THAT?, where we talk about a must-see or iconic movie that we've never seen... until now. This week we take a look at an independent film about how humans react to tragedy in our lives, starring the wonderful Jennifer Aniston...CAKE.

Grief doesn't discriminate. People react differently to it. That is what this film is ultimately about. Loss changes us and our relationships with our friends and family. Sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worse.

This film's plot is something we can all relate to as humans. Claire Bennett suffers a tragic loss and it affects everyone in her life. Her pain makes her come off as cold and abrasive. However, there is so much beneath the surface. She is part of a chronic pain group and becomes obsessed with one of the other group members, Nina, who had left behind a young son and husband. Oddly, Claire's obsession with Nina helps her start to heal from her own tragic loss.

One of the most interesting scenes of this film was when Claire showed up at Nina's house and pretended that she lived there as a young child. Nina's husband calls her out for lying. Strangely enough they become friends. I found that rather touching because we all need human companionship, but have a tendency to push others away when coming to terms with losing someone we love more than anything in the world.

Seeing Claire bond with Nina's young son was lovely. He helped fill a void in her heart. Claire even got a him a present and cake for his birthday. I loved this scene and was immensely touched by it. Even after losing someone, showing others you care makes the healing process less painful.

Lately, I've felt like I was reviewing the same types of movies, and it was honestly getting boring. However, this great independent film touched me more emotionally than any film has in quite awhile. It's raw and takes an in depth look at the human spirit. Cake has allowed me to look at grief in a different way than I was taught growing up.

Its okay to lash out and push people away. We are only human and tragedy changes us forever.
It affects people in different ways. Not all people grieve and handle the loss of a loved one in the same way. I related to this film on a personal level because of the passing of my grandfather.

The performances in this film are wonderful because the pain that Jennifer Aniston expressed as Claire was real. Aniston is able to act far better than people give her credit for. She received much praise for this role and was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award and Golden Globe for her heartfelt performance. Adriana Barraza also gave a great performance, as Silvana, Claire's housekeeper. She put with Claire's attitude very well.

Cake received average reviews and Aniston's acting ability was praised. Rotten Tomatoes shows a score of 48%, of which I think it deserved to be much higher.

This film resonated with me on so many levels because I know what grief and loss can do to you as a person.  Cake dealt with serious issues and I applaud writer Patrick Tobin and director Daniel Barnz for that. If you've ever lost a loved one, then this film will help you heal.

Lisa's Score: 9/10

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