This first appeared as part of a multi-part series on Filmotomy.com.
Jennifer Aniston / Cake
When you think of Jennifer Aniston’s film career, you probably think “rom-com star.” You definitely don’t think “Academy Award nominee” (because, well, that wouldn’t be true), yet she nearly was. Her turn in Cake, as someone struggling with chronic pain looking into the death of one of her support group members, had critics and moviegoers alike talking about her as a serious contender. Aniston delivers an acerbic performance, without a hint of showiness, that keeps the lackluster story afloat through every aimless beat.
Uninspired direction, and a fair amount of hackneyed plot devices, don’t do much to elevate Aniston, but she has no problem getting the job done without any help. Although she didn’t end up receiving Oscar recognition, Aniston was up for a Golden Globe and a SAG Award that year. Probably because the Hollywood Foreign Press and the Screen Actors Guild were looking at the actor, not the mediocre film, when nominating the performance.