It is heavier than Eskom’s current load shedding schedule.
Fans of Friends may only recognise our heroine’s hairstyle, because Jennifer Aniston has undergone a massive change for her role as a woman in constant pain and on the brink of suicide.
It all started when she attended a group session for people with chronic pain, as they commemorate the suicide of another member of the group, played by the underused Anna Kendrick. This triggers a new response in Claire towards the appalling situation she finds herself in. If the constant pain doesn’t drive her to destruction, the member’s suicide will, or she will simply lose her will to live and give in to the pain.
Do not watch Cake if you are depressed. It often belabours the misery and hopelessness. Perhaps the film tries a bit too hard to elicit sympathy, so that you eventually discover you are so distracted by the “new” Jennifer Aniston and her intense acting, you have no feelings for her character.
Miss Aniston tries very hard for an Oscar nomination (which she didn’t get) so the performance tends to be a bit self-conscious.
That does detract a little from the scriptwriter’s good intentions. If you thought your life was hard, wait till you see what Claire suffers through. Just getting out of bed is a greater effort than it might be for you to survive load shedding and this the film exposes in convincing detail.
The supporting cast steals the show. Adriana Barraza is excellent as Claire’s housekeeper. Also worth watching is Sam Worthington as the husband of the dead girl from the support group, while Meryl Streep’s daughter, Mamie Gummer, as the hapless woman who tries to provide therapy to Claire, gives a first-class performance in a minor part.