Title: Cake Director: Daniel Barnz Year: 2014 Run time: 1hr 42m
“Claire Simmons is in pain. Her physical pain is evident in the scars that line her body and the way she carries herself, wincing with each tentative step. She’s no good at hiding her emotional pain either. She has driven away her husband, her friends - even her chronic-pain support group has kicked her out. But the suicide of Nine, one of Claire’s fellow chronic-pain group members, prompts Claire to explore the boundaries between life and death, abandonment and heartbreak, danger and salvation. As she inserts herself into the lives of Nina’s husband and the son left behind, Claire might just find salvation.”
1:30 - It’s not a great start when they’ve killed off Anna Kendrick before it even starts! 5:00 - Dumped by a community help group is harsh. 7:55 - The not being able to sleep would be the worst. 15:22 - Quite worrying when saying you’ll “curse” someone actually scares them away. 21:32 - Aww, everyone is bailing on her. Except awesome Silvana. 25:15 - Looking down on roads like that can be hypnotising. 27:35 - “Uh huh.” Never heard so much acting in so few syllables. 28:46 - Who would just let a stranger into their house? Weird. 34:36 - Perceptivo. 37:04 - I always like the sound of “de nada”, it rolls off the tongue so nicely. 42:04 - Jason Bennett seems nice. White Knight to the rescue. 43:51 - They all seem to have big cars. America! 54:36 - Inane children’s songs on the radio, over and over. Argh! 1:06:48 - Her hair does look nice. I have hair envy. 1:14:11 - Anna is awesome. “You’re probably wondering about the cake.” 1:24:08 - Ranting in Spanish is amazing. Worth learning just to be able to do that! 1:33:42 - How did I not know about the cocktail sticks to keep the cling film off?
I wasn’t sure what to expect with Cake, knew that Jennifer had received commendations for her work on it, and that it was an indy film about chronic pain - that didn’t sound too riveting, but as always with this type of film, the genius is in the characters and the subtle moments of drama.
Jennifer really did an incredible job, impressing far more than I had imagined - considering I know her more for Friends and Horrible Bosses. Here, I could almost feel her pain every second of the film. Having a bad back occasionally sets my teeth on edge so the chronic pain must be intolerable. Although some of the scenes could have been crazy - a ghost, potential suicides, a trip to Mexico to smuggle drugs - it all felt understated, gentle and overall, really moving.
I’d recommend this in a heartbeat, it opened my eyes to a lot of things. In fact, my only complaint is the bit right at the end. I get the gesture is a turning point for our hero, but you really don’t want to mess about with those car seat adjustors.