Review: Jennifer Aniston's impressively raw performance tells her critics to eat 'Cake'

September 9, 2014 6:43 AM

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TORONTO — Chances are that anyone who saw Daniel Barnz's "Phoebe in Wonderland" at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival has been wondering if we'd ever see "that" talented director again. In the years since, he tried to jump on the YA wagon with the misfire "Beastly" and got terribly lost in the studio world with 2012's "Never Back Down." He may still be a little rough around the edges, but the Barnz who showed so much promise with "Phoebe" is back with the new drama "Cake," which premiered Monday at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. And as much as "Cake" is something of a comeback for Barnz, it's really on most people's radar for being a rare dramatic turn for Jennifer Aniston, and she doesn't disappoint.

We're first introduced to Aniston's character, Claire, at a chronic pain support group trying to cope with the suicide of one of their members, Nina (Anna Kendrick). The only person who isn't having any of it, though, is Claire. The audience quickly realizes that as funny as her sarcastic retort is ...

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