Jennifer Aniston earned some of the best reviews of her career at the Toronto International Film Festival over a month ago for her raw performance in Daniel Barnz’s dark comedy “Cake.” The film, which boasts a ‘blacklisted’ script by Patrick Tobin, stars the “Friends” star as heavily scarred woman reeling from a recent tragedy, who shuts everyone close to her out of her life in order to cope with the pain. Vulture went so far as to call the vehicle “Aniston’s ‘Monster'” (the drama that earned Charlize Theron her Best Actress Oscar, for a similarly unglamorous performance).
The early awards buzz on her performance dampened in the festival’s wake, with Julianne Moore emerging as the category’s front-runner thanks to her devastating performance in “Still Alice,” which Sony Pictures Classics scooped up at the event. But now comes word that “Cake” will get an Oscar-qualifying run after all, following the surprise announcement that the film’s been acquired for U.S. distribution by Cinelou Releasing, a new prestige label with plans to release up to four films over the next year, starting with “Cake.” The film will have a one-week qualifying run in December, followed by an expansion in January.
Fronted by Cinelou Films’ producers Mark Canton and Courtney Solomon, Cinelou Releasing has a pact with Warner Bros. Pictures to handle international distribution for six of the company’s titles over the next three years — meaning that “Cake” will make it to theaters internationally via the studio label. “Cake,” a Cinelou Releasing project, was the first one financed and produced under its $100 million financing pact with Taiwanese-based Shenghua Entertainment.
Solomon revealed in a statement that “having a U.S. distribution arm was always part of their company’s strategy,” citing that they want to be “in control of the creative, marketing and financial results” of their films. “We were very pleased with how ‘Cake’ turned out and are excited about all the opportunities the film presents on multiple levels.”
Producer Mark Canton added. “We’re very proud and excited that our new distribution banner will allow Cake to be released with the same passion and commitment that went into making the film.”