Jennifer Aniston is de-glamourized in "Cake," and that's seems to be the catch-all for this movie. Look, Jen has no make-up! Look, Jen has no scars on her face! To focus on that is a shame, because in this movie, Aniston gives the performance of her career, and that really should be what people should be talking about. As Claire, a woman addicted to pain medications, she gives a nuanced - physically and soulfully - performance that is exemplary I was bewitched by just her presence in the movie. (Like Julianne Moore in "Still Alice, she is on every scene) One of the major criticisms in general is that every character she plays seems to be a variation of her Friends' Rachel green character but in here she becomes totally immersed, and at once the viewer forgets it's Aniston they are seeing. It's such a bravura performance that it really is a shame that she was not nominated for an Academy Award. She deserves it.
As for the movie, I wished it served her better. It falls flat with about a quarter left in the story, and even if it makes you want to care less about the character by that time you are already in love with Claire that it does not matter. As her maid and sometimes co-conspirator Silvana, Adriana Barrazais deserves notice as well. Actually, the whole support cast frames Aniston's performance well. I really do recommend this movie, if only to see an actress show her true thespic wings.