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The acting prize for The Dead End was split between Deng Chao, Duan Yihong and Guo Tao. The Jury Grad Prix went to Polish filmmaker Jacek Lusinski’s Carte Blanche, while best actress went to Krista Kosonen in Antti Jokinen’ Finland-Lithuania co-production The Midwife (see full list of winners below)
Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev headed the Golden Goblet jury, which also included Chinese director Cai Shangjun, Chinese actress Hao Lei, French filmmaker Philippe Muyl, Hong Kong producer Nansun Shi and Us producer Ron Yerxa.
Last Thursday, Iranian filmmaker Hooman Seyedi’s 13 won best film and cinematography at the Asian New Talent Awards. Best director went to Japan’s Momoko Ando for 0.5mm, while best actress
Cake is a wry indie drama that hides a gooey centre beneath a brittle leading turn and Jennifer Aniston just about cracks it as a sufferer of chronic pain. This is a grey cardigan-clad performance with harsh lighting and no make-up which, arguably, isn't just a cry for help but a plea for awards attention. The Hollywood Foreign Press kindly obliged with a Golden Globe nomination and if Oscar wasn't that impressed, it may be because the film as a whole feels disingenuous.
Bitter sarcasm is one of the coping mechanisms that Claire (Aniston) depends on in the aftermath of a road accident, along with a pick 'n' mix of painkillers. Her Mexican maid Silvana (Adriana Barraza of Amores Perros) is also on hand to cook, clean
Cake is released in UK cinemas on 20th February and was released in the Us on 23rd January
• Cake - first look review Continue reading...
Written by Patrick Tobin
Directed by Daniel Barnz
In Cake, it takes about fifteen minutes for director Daniel Barnz to establish the ground rules for this familiar portrait of grief and addiction, followed up by another ninety minutes or so of dramatic clumsiness and eye-rolling clichés. Whether it is drugs, sex, or booze, each brings a routine numbing quality to the table for Claire Bennett (Aniston), a seemingly darkly comedic and scathing woman who we first meet in a support group for chronic physical pain. The group is discussing the recent suicide of one of their members, while Claire draws appalling gasps due to her candid sarcasm on the matter. Sporting facial and body scars as well as weedy hair, Aniston’s return to drama screams “I’m ready for recognition!” but Cake does a horrible job of providing Aniston with much to work with.
Claire has driven most people away from her,
Sure, other ones have since, but back in 2007, “Once” especially made me feel that way long before the Oscars. I never would have expected it here and nor will you from this film you’ve probably heard little or nothing about, but a little engine that could called “Cake” has done that to me again. And you’d never guess who primarily made it possible: Jennifer Aniston in a visually unflattering, dramatic role.
While “Cake” as a film is receiving mixed reception, Aniston is being recognized for the career-growing range it’s proving for her beyond the “Friends” comedic stigma she’s trying to grow beyond. Though she tried with the dramatic romance “Love Happens” in 2009, it bombed. “Horrible Bosses” in 2011 and “Horrible Bosses 2
Grief is a prickly emotion to convey within the confines of the indie American melodrama, a place that audiences have come to expect a certain amount of imaginable tragedy causing rippling aftershocks for its protagonist that force him or her to grow once more into a healed, even enlightened being. Along the way, a checklist of unlikely supporting cast mates imbue these reflections on coping with a sense of wishful thinking—we want these heroes and heroines of life’s harsh blows to have access to magical members of disenfranchised, socio-economically compromised denizens to guide them through a series of growing pains so that it’s possible to get right back to where they started from. If this sounds familiar, then you’ll be able to plug into the familiarity of Cake from director Daniel Barnz, which unfortunately feels more like
Angry, depressed, self-pitying and desperate to lose herself in a pharmaceutical haze: no character is more relatable this awards season than Claire Bennett (Jennifer Aniston), a woman simply unable to cope after a semi-recent catastrophe leaves her with chronic pain and facial and bodily disfigurement.
The movies are full of noble sufferers, but Claire refuses to be one of them. Being difficult (by being herself) is the only way she knows how to insist that she and her pain matter — and
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Cake feels superficial – a flat story about exposing bottled emotions that never truly uncorks the essence of human spirituality – like buttercream-frosted discs of Styrofoam decoratively assembled to mimic something more succulent if bitten into. Barnz and Tobin only scratch the surface with their somber character piece, but watching Aniston embody a recovering victim provides a nice contrast to
The film’s cast also includes Anna Kendrick, Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy and Sam Worthington among others. The screenplay was written by Patrick Tobin. Producers are Mark Canton, Ben Barnz, Kristin Hahn and Courtney Solomon.
The film will receive an awards-qualifying limited release this month before going wide on Jan. 23. Distribution is being handled by Cinelou Releasing and Warner Bros.
The role marks a big departure for Aniston, who was speaking at Deadline’s annual Oscar showcase,
“When my life and producing partner Ben Barnz and I first read Cake just fourteen months ago, we knew we had to go to Jennifer Aniston. It was the most obvious un-obvious choice – she’s mega-talented, but we’ve never seen the whole range of her extraordinary comic and dramatic abilities showcased in one role,” said director/Ep Daniel Barnz.
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