Saturday, October 31, 2009
Kristen Stewart in The Cake Eaters
There's something dark and interesting lurking in Mary Stuart Masterson's The Cake Eaters, out on DVD and playing On Demand and on various cable outlets. Kristen Stewart plays Georgia, a young woman with a terminal illness whose mother (Talia Balsam) has achieved some critical cachet as a photographer by taking semi-erotic shots of her daughter. (The name of Sally Mann is invoked for comparison) An award for the photos comes at the same time Georgia begins to pull away; she develops an attraction to Beagle (Aaron Stanford), an aimless early-20's man whom she meets at a fair and decides to give her virginity to. The question of the mother's careerism vs. Georgia's grasp at a normal teenage experience is brushed aside in favor of the tale of Beagle and his Dad (Bruce Dern, underplaying) getting past the shared grief over the death of Beagle's mother. By choosing the wrong protagonist The Cake Eaters wastes its most surprising character and ends up being a very thin slice of life.