Cake Daniel Barnz

Cake Daniel Barnz
For a second there, it seemed like we might all have to start referring to her as Academy Award nominee Jennifer Aniston, and while those hopes were ultimately dashed, Aniston herself nails this difficult role. Unfortunately, Cake can't keep up to her star performance.

The fourth film from director Daniel Barnz (Beastly, Won't Back Down), follows Claire (Aniston) as she nears the end of her pain-ridden rope. Although not expressly detailed in the film, Claire has recently been in an accident that has left her scarred and in constant, chronic pain. She hasn't exactly dealt with it well, either. In the aftermath: her family was torn apart; she developed a nasty pill addiction; and she is now obsessed with killing herself, an obsession only exacerbated by the recent suicide of one of her support group members, Nina (Anna Kendrick). When Nina starts appearing to Claire in the form of a hallucination, Claire starts making some rather odd choices in her life.

In many ways, this role is tailor-made for Aniston. Her fans, and non-fans alike, will be genuinely surprised by this dramatic and effective turn. She really does look like she is in great pain throughout the film and she effortlessly conveys just how on the edge Claire is.

This particular journey is an odd one that most viewers might find too bleak to be appreciated, but it cements Aniston as a formidable actor.

(D Films)