Jennifer Aniston tries to build Oscar momentum with Cake trailer

November 26, 2014 17:01:49 Posted at November 26, 2014 17:01:49
Joanna Posted by Joanna

Jennifer Aniston didn’t earn an Independent Spirit Award nomination for her role as a grieving pill-popper in Cake, but this doesn’t mean her awards momentum is slowing down.

Yesterday, Lainey wrote about how Jimmy Kimmel was excitedly praising Jen’s performance in the film (click here for a refresher), making specific mention of how Oscar-worthy she is. And finally, we get to see it for ourselves.

ABC News scored the exclusive trailer. We watch as a de-glammed, no-makeup, frumpy Jen lies to her doctor to get, well, more prescription drugs. Haunted by the ghost of Anna Kendrick following the latter’s suicide, look, even Jen’s famous hair is disheveled and not perfectly blown out.

Vulture wrote that she’s gone “full Theron” in the role, equating her physical transformation (and not her acting) to Charlize’s in Monster. Of course, as we know, that dramatic turn earned Charlize an Oscar and a lot of other awards. But Jen is not Charlize. As I’ve written before, Jen is GOOD in Cake, but the movie is just OK at best.

In October, my position was that Jen has a good shot at a Golden Globe in the Comedy/Musical category. But the Hollywood Foreign Press Association isn’t putting Cake in the Comedy/Musical category so now she’s going to have to compete against the dramatic vets and newcomers. Basically, she’s facing off against the heavyweight Oscar contenders.

Julianne Moore’s a lock for Still Alice, Reese Witherspoon is in there for Wild, and the rest is a toss-up between Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything, Hilary Swank in The Homesman, Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl, and Amy Adams in Big Eyes. Jessica Chastain, as always, is in the mix too for at least three roles. That’s seven people to fill five spots.

But where have the others been? Jen’s been using her Horrible Bosses 2 Norbit to soak up any promotion she can for Cake, whereas Rosamund, the real-life cool girl, has been missing from the circuit for nearly two months. The last time we saw her, she was seven months pregnant and she could have already had her baby. It could be weeks or months until we see her again – maybe she’ll reappear at the Globes? As for Felicity, she’s working the press tours hard and in my unpopular opinion, is better (marginally) than Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything… but her nod might not be a sure thing.
Hilary’s just starting up her campaign, but her country western spin in the-little-seen The Homesman is a hard sell. Plus, she was an also-ran for Conviction back in 2010 and 2011, so she could be worn out. Still,  on paper, Jen definitely seems out of her depth.

So she’s going to need more help if she wants to make this awards run happen. And this trailer’s trying to do just that. If the pull-quote from Deadline’s Pete Hammond (“An Oscar-worthy performance for Jennifer Aniston”) wasn’t strong enough, at the end of the teaser, Jen’s name is preceded by her title as a Golden Globe Winner (for being in Friends). She’s also surrounded by four Academy Award nominees: Anna Kendrick, Adrianna Barraza, Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy.

We knew the cast list long ago, but seeing Jen act as if she’s about to hit bottom while encircled by an ensemble of A-list capital-A ACTORS brings up a couple of questions. Can Jen keep up with Anna? Can she hold her own against Felicity? At least now we get to see her try.

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