Monday, October 05, 2015

Movie Monday: The Cake Eaters I am on yet another Monday, apologizing for not posting much last week. Believe it or not, I am still struggling to come out of this crash caused by my annual bout of bronchitis. I am definitely improving but not yet back to my normal baseline. I finished my last round of antibiotics last week, had a clear chest x-ray, and started to be able to do a few things around the house, but now I am struggling with the yeast overgrowth caused by the antibiotics (which is always present in me but badly flared up now). I did take a walk today - my first in over a month! Just 10 minutes - v-e-r-y slowly around our two cul-de-sacs - baby steps!

While my husband was out golfing one evening last week, I indulged in a Sue-movie, i.e. one with no action, car chases, or shooting. This is a rarity for me, with three men in the house usually choosing our movies!

I watched The Cake Eaters (free on Amazon Prime), a different kind of coming-of-age story, wrapped up with a family's struggle with grief. Kristen Stewart plays Georgia, a high school student struggling with Friedreich's Ataxia, a progressive neurological disorder that is very disabling. Georgia manages pretty well in spite of her disabilities; she is a good student and loves to spend time with her quirky, independent grandmother, Marg, played by Elizabeth Ashley. As the film opens, Georgia is escaping from her overprotective mother to spend a day at the flea market with Marg, selling haunting and beautiful black and white portraits her mother has taken of her, to help bring attention to the disease.

At the flea market, they meet Beagle and his dad, played by Aaron Stanford and Bruce Dern, respectively. They are grieving over the loss of Beagle's mother, after a long and difficult illness. Beagle is a young man unsure what to do with his life, now that his mother is gone, because he was totally focused on taking care of her. Now, he works at the high school cafeteria and dabbles in painting. His dad knows Marg and introduces him, and Beagle is immediately drawn to Georgia and not scared off by her disabilities. Soon after, Beagle's older brother, Guy (played by Jayce Bartok), shows up unexpectedly, after being away for three years.

As the three men try to figure out how to get along together and move forward, Beagle and Georgia get closer. Georgia's grandmother urges her to go slowly with Beagle, but Georgia tells her she doesn't have time to wait. The three men struggle with their relationship, secrets are revealed, and Georgia moves forward with her plan to experience all life has to offer before it is too late, despite her mother's attempts to protect her. All of the actors did a great job in these emotional roles, though Stewart was especially convincing in her portrayal of a young woman with a crippling disease. I really enjoyed this intense, coming-of-age family drama that looks at life with chronic illness, a topic not often touched upon in movies. Despite that subject matter, the movie is not depressing but rather focuses on life, love, and moving forward.

Have you seen any good movies lately?

And if you also like to read, check out what we've been reading this past week at my book blog.


Unknown said...

I'm getting lots of great TV and movie ideas! Thanks for the review, Sue!

Sue Jackson said...

Great! Glad to help out :) And let me know what you are enjoying watching, Barbara - I am always looking for new ideas!