Jennifer Aniston stars. Yes, that glamorous, wonderful-looking Jennifer A. You almost don’t recognize her as Claire Simmons, a pain-wracked survivor of a terrible accident. She is struggling to recover. Her body doesn’t work the way it is supposed to anymore and she uses copious amounts of pain pills. She attends therapy sessions which seem to depress her even more than she already is. Depressed, that is.
This is a movie about depression. There is no glamour here. No make-up, frumpy clothes, no hair styling. This is a movie about pain, enduring, persistent, stultifying pain. And this is a movie about one woman’s struggle, through her inquisitiveness about another woman’s suicide, to come to terms with her life and its ongoing reality.
Aniston is the star and she lifts this movie out of the doldrums of hundreds of ordinary Hollywood flicks. Cake lets its audience experience some of the weighty characteristics of pain and depression. I wonder if some of the negative elements of some reviews are not because the reviewers were experiencing personal feelings of déjà vu. In the end, this movie is affirmation of life and gut-clenching determination.
Anniston should have received an Oscar nomination for Cake. For a lot of reasons, I strongly recommend this movie, not just to the depressed among us, but to everyone.