Cake – Film Review

Driven by Jennifer Aniston's well-judged performance, this is an affecting account of recovery after tragedy

In director Daniel Barnz’s new film, Jennifer Aniston is transformed as Claire Bennett, an affluent Los Angeles woman struggling to rebuild her life after a car accident that leaves her with severe facial scarring. It’s a role that demands more from the former Friends star than her usual romantic comedies. As she battles chronic pain and an escalating prescription drug habit, Claire admits she acts like a “raving bitch” towards her housekeeper (Adriana Barraza) and therapist (Felicity Huffman). Some jarring hallucination scenes – in which Claire squabbles with the ghost of a local suicide victim (Twilight star Anna Kendrick) – aside, Cake offers a realistic and perversely comic account of recovery from tragedy. Driven by Aniston’s well-judged balance of intensity and restraint, it’s an affecting film.