Tuesday 22 Jul
 
 

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

Kierston White - Don't Write Love Songs

The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?

Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.

07/01/2014 | Comments 0

Depth & Current - Dysrhythmia

"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
06/24/2014 | Comments 0

Weak Knees - “IceBevo”

Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
06/17/2014 | Comments 0
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The Cake Eaters' bakes a sentimental story worth every slice


Mike Robertson May 28th, 2009

 "The Cake Eaters" is the story of two families whose present is bracketed and, in some ways confined, by a shared past. Beagle (Aaron Stanford, "X-Men: The Last Stand") lives a soli...

cake-eaters

 "The Cake Eaters" is the story of two families whose present is bracketed and, in some ways confined, by a shared past.

Beagle (Aaron Stanford, "X-Men: The Last Stand") lives a solitary life with his recently widowed father, Easy (Bruce Dern, "The Astronaut Farmer"). Beagle tries to take care of Easy, but the pair lives in a seemingly permanent stalemate over who will mention their shared grief first. Their disquieting quietude is broken only by the return of Beagle's brother, Guy (Jayce Bartok, "The Station Agent"), who has been in absentia pursuing a music career in the big city for the past three years. He's missed his mother's death and everything leading up to it, and Beagle is understandably unhappy to see him.

Then Beagle meets Georgia (Kristen Stewart, "Adventureland," "Twilight"), a student at the high school where he serves lunch for a living. She suffers from a neurodegenerative disease that causes severe mobility issues and will likely shorten her overall life. Georgia lives with her mother, Ceci (Melissa Leo, "Frozen River"), and her stepfather, Judd (Jesse L. Martin, TV's "Law & Order"). Ceci, who is in equal parts overprotective and personally selfish, takes up a significant portion of Georgia's limited time shooting artistic portraits of her, hoping to win a Guggenheim grant and a name in the art world. This leads to small acts of rebellion from Georgia, who wants to experience as much of the world as she can without posing for a camera or being yelled at to get back in her wheelchair. 

TROUBLED INTERACTIONS
Things are further complicated by an entanglement between Easy and Georgia's grandmother, Marg (Elizabeth Ashley, "Hey Arnold! The Movie") and a set of troubled interactions between Guy and Stephanie (Miriam Shor, TV's "Swingtown"), the girl he left behind when he blew town.

Written by Bartok (who is, in a rare example, a better writer than actor) and directed by actress Mary Stuart Masterson, "The Cake Eaters" is all about color, shape and texture. Masterson, who has heretofore directed only a short television segment, transmits a beginner's glee from behind the camera, lingering a bit too long on a pretty composition here and a meaningful gesture there. The pacing is deliberate in a way reminiscent of the self-consciousness one sees in student or first-time films, giving a rougher, handmade feel to the whole.

And it all works. Stewart, who comes off as the only real pro here despite the mile-long résumés of her costars " especially Dern and Ashley " provides a sensitive, deep treatment of Georgia for the rest of the characters to use as ballast. Stanford comes in second, providing an awkward foil for Stewart's lurching tics, creating a truly likable chemistry for what could easily have been a clichéd and ineffective romantic pairing.

While "The Cake Eaters" certainly has its own tics, rough spots and general inconsistencies, they all conspire to enhance its overall warmth and charm.

The film screens May 28-31 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. "Mike Robertson

 
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