Extra Cinema: Cake (15)

Starring: Jennifer Aniston, A Barraza

Director: Daniel Barnz

Life is pain cocooned within extended periods of contentment and the mundane.

The embittered protagonist of Cake has been so deeply scarred — physically and emotionally by a devastating car crash — by her pain that she is toxic to everyone who orbits her.

In Daniel Barnz’ film, this font of bile and foul-mouthed misery is portrayed with bedraggled hair and make-up disfigurements by Jennifer Aniston.

It’s a compelling dramatic performance, which reminds us that the Los Angeles-born actress is much more than the romcom girl next door.

Unfortunately, Aniston’s eye-catching work is the 
glistening cherry on top of a half-baked drama that proves increasingly hard to swallow.

Cake is an uneven bake, distinguished by Aniston’s committed performance and a warm, empathetic 
supporting turn from Barraza.

Even when the rest of Barnz’ film crumbles, which it does frequently, their sisterly solidarity holds our interest.

Rating: 6/10