The Cake Eaters (2007) - The Cake Eaters (2007) - User Reviews - IMDb
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8/10
Mature, thoughtful drama
Delmare7 September 2008
In a backwater town in upstate New York, Georgia Kaminski (Kristin Stewart), a teenage girl with a terminal nervous disorder, finds herself torn between the frivolity of her grandmother (Elizabeth Ashley) and overly protective mother who, in the hopes of bringing awareness and humanity to her daughter's disease, takes controversial photos of Georgia in the nude. Several miles away, aspiring musician Guy Kimbrough (Jayce Bartok) returns to the house of estranged father Easy (Bruce Dern) and younger brother Beagle (Aaron Stanford), trying to hide the secret of his failure to make it big. Easy is the town butcher, recently widowed, with secrets of his own, while Beagle, the kid who never left home, has surrendered his life to the care of his father and late mother, and struggles to find an identity of his own. Kaminskis and Kimbroughs conjoin dramatically when Georgia, hoping to find love in her life, and to find it before it's too late, courts the affection of Beagle, whom she meets at an outdoor flea market. The innocent but contentious relationship causes a series of reckonings, as both families are forced to contend with the heaps of emotional baggage that have piled up in their lives.

Masterson keeps it real with this one. The drama is understated, the tension is subtle, and the characters are both distinct and believable. Hats off to Kristin Stewart, who manages to be a dozen things at once – tragic but not pitiful, strong, endearing, funny, unconventionally sexy, and none of the clichés we've grown to associate with any of Hollywood's notorious mental illnesses. Remaining hats to Bruce Dern, a long-time favorite of mine, who keeps a lid on things and never fails to command our respect, even as his character slides deeper into dubious behavior.

In many ways, the film's strengths almost become its undoing. The sustained, understated quality of the storytelling prevents the movie from having any kind of real climax, and the immaculate tension set up in the first hour of the movie never quite pays off in a way I would like. That said, it's still a beautiful film, a capstone of movie-making maturity, and deserves the widest audience possible.
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6/10
Kristen Takes the Cake
MadameGeorge19 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I watched the Cake Eaters a few weeks ago and flipped through it the other day once more in hopes of finding something that I missed. I was glad that I did, because there are little things in this film that really make the difference.

To be honest, what drew me into 'the Cake Eaters' was the fact that Kristen Stewart was in it. I saw 'Twilight' and I was not impressed, but I did not want to be too harsh on the girl, so I gave her another chance and I was not disappointed. Kristen plays her character wonderfully. She is both strong and weak while being a young girl who just wants to grow up and experience life while dealing with a disease that is slowly taking her life. Not to mention a mother who is out to become famous on her daughter's disease, instead of enabling her daughter to experience what life she can, while she can. Thank God, there is her grandmother who brings the necessary heart and often comedic elements needed to keep the film moving. Kristen is believable from the first shot and the last was heartfelt and made me smile.

There are flaws here, no doubt, when looking at the individual stories it is your typical small town, cliché plot occurrences and obvious character realizations.

Though I feel that I have seen this type of story many times, in different arenas it is still well worth the watch and I enjoyed it for what it was.

'The Cake Eaters' was a good film, with a familiar recipe, but Kristen Stewart makes it sweet.
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9/10
A Cake For All
boehmchadwick20 November 2007
"The Cake Eaters" is so subtle a story and pleasing a film you won't notice how great it is until it is over. Much credit is due to Jayce Bartok, the screenwriter, as well as, Mary Stuart Masterson, the director, to fulfill the hearts of its characters while filling the souls of the audience. "Eaters" sweet subtleties meet heavy hearts touching on such powerful subjects as love, death, secrecy, adultery, disability, virginity, abandonment, and rebellion. With each character involved in one or more relationships: father/son, mother/daughter, grandmother/granddaughter, brothers; love: new, old, rekindled, exes; they are pulled apart at the seams, some almost to a breaking point, only to be shown how close they are.

At the heart of the story, in between all the eaters of cake, is Georgia, a young woman "living" with a rare genetic disorder that affects her mobility but not her spirit. Georgia is played wonderfully and with grace by Kristen Stewart ("Into the Wild"). Her performance is at the center of this story and is worthy of any if not all accolades (Oscar?). You find yourself so enmeshed in her ability to convince, that she makes "The Cake Eaters" truly magnificent.

As up-state New York sets the tone for the story it throws you back in time, maybe the 70's, while staying in the present. The film opens with footage of old home movies and settles nicely in a gray, rainy, folk art town, where everyone knows your name. And it sure seems nice to have been a part of it.
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8/10
Because LIFE is short
cee10072 April 2009
The film's title could baffle or be lost on you. Then you realize after watching it that it is one of the smartest titles written for a story. Really. I remember one cheeky poster I saw eons ago, "Life is short, eat dessert first!". And from there you know why this title is so apropos.

"The Cake Eaters" was made two years ago but was only released in theaters recently. Mary Stuart Masterson, yes that great actress who directed this little film, should thank high heavens for Twilight. Because before Twilight, Kristen Stewart was just that young indie actress recognized only by people who watch little indie films. We all know Twilight at present is still officially undead, which is good news for the leads' older films that were shelved and are now miraculously resurrected. Otherwise there was a very slim chance for this little film to go mass market. Because first, it is a "quiet" character-driven movie (no action sequences typical of blockbusters). Second, the cast is a group of actors and not stars.

But they are not really new actors. Which leads us to Bruce Dern, playing the widower Easy, who gave a very solid performance here. Aaron Stanford, playing the naive and reliable Beagle, has been making films since 2002. He reminds me of Michael Cera, by how he portrayed Beagle here. And then we have Kristen Stewart, who plays Georgia, a headstrong 15 year old with a degenerative disease (Friedreich's Ataxia). Kristen inhabited Georgia here. She plays her so convincingly you think she's born with the disease. You can imagine the twitching, slurred speech and uneven gait could take a toll yet she was consistent with it. The best thing is, though she played a girl who is physically weak, her Georgia shows strength and maturity. Kristen has received a lot of flak for underplaying her characters. But consider that here she achieves Georgia's strength with her restrained acting, opting to convey emotions through facial expressions and succinct delivery of lines. Georgia becomes not just a sick 15 year old girl but much more than that. We feel for her, but we do not pity her. Which is what all people with disabilities want anyway.

And who would have guessed that Guy, the black sheep brother, is played by the screenplay writer, Jayce Bartok. He writes better, we say, but kudos to him for churning a thoughtful mature story.

I am a fan of Masterson's and was so glad to learn she's gone into directing. Her steady hand has allowed this little film to achieve its purpose. The choice of making a film set in a small town reminds you of "Fried Green Tomatoes". This does have a feel of that film. Subtle , unassuming, natural. She worked hand in hand with real life brother Peter as cinematographer, who gave some stunning shots.

The OST is also worth mentioning, considering that Duncan Shiek has lent his talent. His relaxed introspective music accompanies this film well.
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10/10
Gets inside you, and gets in good
jamesfilmore7 September 2008
In this superbly rendered drama from Mary Stuart Masterson, two small-town families find their lives unexpectedly intertwined when the quiet, socially awkward Beagle Kimbrough (Aaron Stanford) invites the romantic attentions of Georgia Kaminski (Kristen Stewart), a young girl with a rare but terminal nervous disease who knows her window of opportunity is rapidly closing. Much to the chagrin of her domineering mother, and the chilly audits of her otherwise zesty grandmother, Georgia decides to follow her feelings to wherever it is they lead her. Meanwhile, Beagle's older brother Guy (Jayce Bartok), the wayward son, returns from a dead-end bid to become a musician and struggles to reconcile himself with estranged father Easy (Bruce Dern) the town butcher, whose wife (Guy and Beagle's mother) has recently passed away.

There are so many points in this movie where a less steady hand might have foundered the effort, either by overplaying the sentiment card, or by trying to hard to push the tragic undertones, but the film finds an immaculate balance, that golden middle-of-the-road equilibrium that just gets rarer the more time goes by. The characters are so genuine, their stories so real, that the film exacts an impact that is no less raw, and no less memorable, than the trials and tribulations of families we know in life.

The first scene offers a perfect illustration of everything that's right with the movie: Beagle and Easy sit across from each other at the breakfast table, Easy contemplating such bold measures as changing his breakfast cereal, Beagle listening, responding in monosyllables, almost without thinking, and from this one tiny encounter we glean the whole spectrum of what their relationship has become – perfunctory, habitual, and void of energy.

With writing this precise, and with performances so nuanced and natural that all of Hollywood's clichés are swept under the carpet without so much as a whimper, the stage is set for perfection.

Which is what this movie is – perfection.
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9/10
What are we, elephants?...The Cake Eaters
jaredmobarak27 March 2008
Mary Stewart Masterson's film The Cake Eaters is a very well done piece of cinema. A slice of rural life in a sleepy town, we are privy to a period of turmoil and discovery for two families living there. The Kimbrough's have recently lost their matriarch and a second family is dealing with the hardships of raising a child with Friedriech's Ataxia. Both groups are thrust together with some chance meetings, helping each other get through the tough times and remember the good in living life. There is a lot of heart on display and subtlety in its portrayal. We see just enough of every story thread to understand the emotions going on inside the heads of all the characters—emotions that are very complicated and co-existing with their exact opposites: can love ever really exist separate from hate? The main catalyst for much of what occurs stems from the return of Guy Kimbrough, back from a three-year, self-imposed exile of rock n' roll life in NYC. It is an interesting welcome; one mixed with happiness at seeing him and disappointment in the fact that he abandoned them all when they needed him the most. Played by the screenwriter, Jayce Bartok, it is a role that bares similarities to the only other film I have seen him in, Suburbia. There he was a returning rockstar seeing how different he had become when re-connecting with old friends, here he is that same guy, only now with the realization that his dream is over. This is a one-way ticket back home to start over and hope to find what it was he lost in those years away. Needing to make amends with the father and brother he left, the girl he walked out on, and the mother he missed saying goodbye to, Bartok does well showing the sadness and regret along with the hope of rebirth.

His introduction back into the life of his brother has a very real effect on the younger Beagle. Played wonderfully by Aaron Stanford, (in a huge departure from his turn as Pyro in the X-Men films), he is reminded of how he had to put his life on hold to care for his parents, one dying and one unable to stay and watch. After meeting the granddaughter of his father's old friend/flame, he finds that he must start to live for himself. Although she is younger and afflicted with a debilitating muscular disease, the two find a bond and common ground with each other. They see someone like themselves, wanting to find a relationship and person to be with. The climax of their relationship is very strong and well played, allowing the audience to discover whether their connection was strictly of convenience or much more. Kristen Stewart is fantastic as the girl Georgia. The way she must control her body in order for the disease to be real is effective, but also her smile at the hand God dealt her is perfect. This young woman knows her fate and tries to overcome any feelings of sadness by just living.

The beauty of The Cake Eaters is that it unfolds very unassumingly, taking its story and its progression as naturally as possible. There are no twists and turns or bombastic moments to hit the audience over the head with. Instead we are allowed a glimpse into the world of this town, where flea markets, butcher shops, and outskirt motels are commonplace and well used. Each moment is completely authentic, from the acting to the relationships uncovered as the film goes on. Even some little moments shine above the rest like when Easy Kimbrough, (the always great Bruce Dern), is telling his girlfriend that he can't continue their relationship if it remains a secret. He is so heartfelt and she as well trying to keep him for herself in the way she had grown accustomed, but once the phone rings and she finds that her granddaughter has gone off with his son, she turns on him and screams that Beagle isn't good enough for Georgia. Emotion is a powerful thing and the blunt truth of that scene just rings completely true.

With subtle directing and the fearless use of quiet moments to let the actors breathe and do their thing, Masterson has crafted a gem of a film. I kept thinking of another film with similar tonal qualities and settings in Tully while watching. This is strange because I don't remember much about that film except for really enjoying it, yet somehow I just felt they had a kinship with each other. Definitely an independent feature, I hope it will be able to eventually break the festival circuit and get a proper release either theatrically or on DVD. It is definitely one worth watching for those interested in small character studies and really effective drama.
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8/10
Families' Relationship
claudio_carvalho25 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
In a small town in the countryside, Georgia Kaminski (Kristen Stewart) is a fifteen year-old girl with Friedreich's ataxia, a genetic disease that causes progressive damage to the nervous system resulting in clumsy movements, speech problems heading to heart disease. While in a flea market selling goods with her grandmother Marg (Elizabeth Ashley), Georgia meets the shy twenty-years old Beagle Kimbrough (Aaron Stanford), who works in the cafeteria of her school and is the son of the local butcher Easy (Bruce Dern). Beagle spent the last years taking care of his ill mother while Easy and Marg have secretly been lovers for many years. Georgia feels that she will have few years of life and decides to lose her virginity with the sensitive Beagle. Meanwhile, Easy's older son Guy (Jayce Bartok) returns from New York for the funeral of his mother and seeks out the hairdresser Stephanie (Miriam Shor), who was his fiancée that he left behind when he moved to New York chasing the dream of becoming a successful musician. During the reunion, the lives of members of both families experience new discoveries and feelings.

The debut of the sweet Mary Stewart Masterson in the direction of a feature is a beautiful and sensitive movie about families' relationship. The three romances are realistic and engaging and the characters are human and credible. The top-notch and impressive performance of Kristen Stewart in the role of a teenager with Friedreich's ataxia deserved a nomination to the Oscar. Kristen Stewart proves that she is not only an extremely gorgeous woman, but mainly a awesome actress. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Doces Encontros" ("Sweet Encounters")
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8/10
you wanna feel good, watch this movie!!!
nikhil-bopanna26 March 2009
I have been waiting for this movie from a very long time. Wait is a worthwhile, and i thoroughly enjoyed this one. Mary Stuart Masterson has captured complete concentration from the audience. You can watch this movie if your feeling low or even good.

This movie is about love and relationship. If you are physically unfit, you are not going to loose out of love and its wonderfully portrayed by Kristen Stewart. Overall your heart will float in a sea of joy.

Kristen Stewart is amazing, she takes a through a journey of kind bigheartedness and love. She definitely has a bright future and a long career. The storyline is perfect which contains emotions and humor.

Aaron Stanford is equally good in his own way. A piece of work through which you will fell good for at least a day. Cheers!!!!
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9/10
A beautiful "feel good" movie
sum12316 April 2009
It's been a while since I watched a movie and felt good for a while afterwards. Most movies nowadays make you feel romantic, awesome, thrilled, pumped up, etc etc, while you're watching it, inside the movie theatre or on your couch; but as soon as the movie ends, many leave you with a strange feeling of emptiness. "The Cake Eaters" was definitely a different experience for me. I can't say that I've learnt a lesson or a piece of wisdom from the movie, but I can definitely say that it left me with a good feeling after it ended. I definitely recommend it for rental and ownership, especially to watch with a loved one.
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10/10
Astonishing Kristen Stewart steals the whole film
robert-temple-19 February 2016
This is the only feature film directed by Mary Stuart Masterson, who is better known as an actress. It is a moody film set in an obscure town in America, and the characters in the story are what one could politely call 'significantly boorish' members of a vague, aimless underclass of society. Bruce Dern plays an oafish man so well one worries. In this twilight world of overly 'ordinary people' there lives a young girl who is dying of an incurable muscular wasting disease. She is bravely attempting to finish high school, but can barely stand up or walk. When she walks down the corridor of her high school, she has to lean against the walls to avoid falling. She has no self-pity and she carries on, in her hopelessly crippled fashion, as if she were a perfectly normal person without any disability. Her courage is simply astounding. However, her personality is suffused with such overwhelming melancholy that the story is absolutely heart-rending. She is desperate to know love before she dies, and she seeks it in the arms of a boy played by Aaron Stanford. The young actress Kristen Stewart (then aged 17, but who started in films as a child actress so that she was already greatly experienced) delivers an outstanding performance worthy of several Oscars as the dying girl. You will need lots of tissues or handkerchiefs if you watch this one, because it is one of the great weepies of all time. Masterson has really delivered an overwhelmingly emotional tale, and with Kristen Stewart's central performance, it must be said that this film is a classic.
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8/10
delicate, touching and feel-good drama
yris200223 November 2011
"The cake eaters" is above all a picture with characters full of humanity, and the merit has to be given to the screenwriter, who offered intense and heartful dialogues, as well as to the director, who was able to guide a talented cast, as to convey the depth of their dramatic roles, without ever making them sound pathetic or unnecessarily melodramatic. There's a strong dignity in each of the characters, each one having to come to terms with old unsolved issues and relationships. The theme of love, at every age, at every stage, in every form is unraveled with a strong consciousness of all the single and unique problems, difficulties, but also positive involvement, that each single story may carry. I loved the touching story between Georgia and "Beagle", as it shows such delicacy, although facing complicated issues, such as disability and virginity. But in general, all the themes of the movie, from love to loss, to death, betrayal, seem to be treated with such tact,with such a sympathetic attitude towards the frailty of human beings, that also the overall sense of drama is softened, and a final sense of peace and relief is to be appreciated. A drama capable of making you feel good, a rare cinema experience.
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9/10
Having Your Cake and Eating It
j-lacerra27 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
In The Cake Eaters we have essentially three stories swirling about, involving two families in a sleepy upstate New York town. The Kimbrough family, which just suffered the loss of its matriarch, is involved in all three, with dad Easy (Bruce Dern) trying to culminate a long-term affair with grandma Kaminski (Elizabeth Ashley), son Guy just returned home to try to put his life together, and youngest son Beagle being introduced to sex by Ashley's granddaughter Georgia Kaminski (Kristen Stewart), a pretty young girl who suffers from a terminal muscular disease.

First-time director Mary Stuart Masterson shows a real flare for allowing her story to be related by the characters. She can show a wealth of revelations in brief scenes with no dialog - she allows the camera and the players to tell the tale. Masterson may become a recognized director if she continues along these lines.

It is no surprise that Dern and Ashley can act. All supporting cast members are actually first rate. But the real shocker here is Kristen Stewart as the afflicted Georgia, pressing to achieve experiences, including sexual experience, while she can. This actress is no Hollywood cupcake! This is, in my humble opinion, an Oscar-worthy performance. And, given the Academy's predilection for roles featuring challenged characters (ala Rain Man, Ray, My Left foot, etc.), it is a wonder that this great acting job went unnoticed. However, the delayed release of this Indy picture may have foiled that. Thumbs way, way up for Kristen Stewart.

The only reason I did not give the entire ten stars is that at 87 minutes, I think Masterson could have padded out the ending a bit longer; I did not want it to end. Recommended!
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8/10
Anyone can relate to this movie.
Hesse-0216 October 2011
We watched this movie with a group of friends. Mainly I was watching to see Bruce Dern, whom I think is phenomenal and whose biography I had just finished reading.

What really surprised me was the beauty and sentiment in this film. Kristen Stewart I have to say was amazing! The story was amazing! Bruce Dern was utterly believable as usual. The direction from Mary Stuart Masterson, though she could have toned down Elizabeth Ashley's acting just a tad, was really wonderful.

We all ended up giving this sweet film a enthusiastic thumbs up. It's about relationships, death of a parent, break up's, hook up's, parent/child relationships and all that goes into life. The Cake Eaters. Have you cake and eat it too.
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Very good but had the potential to be great!
imdbbl31 October 2009
I love independent movies but to be honest I watched The Cake Eaters because of Kristin Stewart. I've seen quite a few of her movies in the last weeks and aside from that Twilight crap I've came to the conclusion that she's a great actress and her performance in this film is no exception.Here she plays Georgia Kaminski,a teenager that suffers from Friedreich's ataxia, a genetic disease that causes damage to the nervous system among other things.Her mother Elizabeth is overzealous and her grandmother, Marg, is her escape.She doesn't have that much time and wants to experience love before its too late. She meets Beagle,played by Aaron Stanford, a shy 20 year old who works in the school cafeteria,they quickly bond and become close and she decides to loose her virginity to him.Beagle is part of the The Kimbrough family.Easy is the patriarch and he's grieving over the recent loss of his wife,Guy is the older son who has been away from the family and just returned after learning that his mother had passed away, and Beagle is the youngest son. The film explores the lives of this two interconnected families. The Cake Eaters is independent film-making at his best,my only complaint is that the movie was too short. How many times do you hear that? Exactly, the movie was that good. I just feel like the story could have been explored more and it could had been taken to another level.I don't know why the director didn't push the envelope a little,he clearly knew what he was doing and the story had great potential; don't take me wrong,this is a very good movie, I just think with more running time it could have been a tremendous movie. Kristin Stewart's performance is truly incredible.When playing characters with these type of diseases, there's always a tendency to overact or go over the top but she played this role perfectly.The academy award nominee Bruce Dern who played Easy was great as well. A great piece of work that left me wanting more.

7.5/10
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6/10
Life is like a box of cake(?)
kosmasp28 September 2010
If you only know Kristen S. as "Bella", than you haven't seen her full Spectrum yet. This is one of the films where she can show what she is really capable of. Of course this being an ensemble piece, there are quite a few other people, who are all really good in their roles. And while this is a man trying to get past his ... well past (I'm talking about the script writer), it still is able to affect other people (the viewers), too.

Of course a drama isn't something that will get all people excited and there are quite a few things, that might get you off the movie. But if you take the time and invest in the characters as the filmmakers did, you will come to like it. Plus the audio commentary is a really nice one to listen to.
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9/10
Kristen Stewart
btreakle12 August 2020
Loved this film about love , death and a young woman with disabilities wanting to fulfill her many desires of life before she succumbs to the end of life
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10/10
Best Kristen Stewart's film so far!!!!!!
huylingsar25 June 2014
First of all, I want to say that I'm a very big fan of Kristen since I first saw Twilight!!! She had captured my heart many time but with this film, she made me worship her. When I first knew this film, I thought it was not as attractive as Twilight or Adventureland. But I was totally wrong!!! When Georgia (Kristen) showed up in the film, my mind was totally blown away! She appeared as a girl with Fredreich's ataxia and walked or speak with bad condition. Her acting was just somehow perfect and I couldn't blink my eyes! Before I saw this movie, "Remember Me" was the best movie in my thought, but when I saw this, this had instantly beaten "Remember Me". The first week I bought "The Cake Eaters", I saw it 5 times!!!! A directional debut by Mary Stuart Materson was a masterpiece work!!!! I love this film so much!!!!!
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3/10
The plot stated here has more action than the actual movie.
simply_fla18 April 2009
It wasn't awful, just not good. I watched it all the way through. But the real reason I watched it was the great reviews and because of the plot synopsis stated here in IMDb. I was definitely expecting MORE of this movie but in the end was somewhat disappointed. This is what i got from the movie. It was sweet, lighthearted and was meant as a feel good movie. Set in a small, silent rural town were there's a lot of mediocre acting to be appreciated. The story goes on based on two families whose paths are intertwined by love or perhaps, their interpretation of it. Kristen Stewart, playing "Georgia" the main character in this movie, may win your compassion or sympathy because of her illness (Friedreich's Ataxia), but the acting, end of the line, is only OK, (although I can't say she didn't try). It gets tiresome. While being overprotected by her family, specially a bad acting mother, she meets this young man, Beagle who wakes her sexual curiosity after the excuse that she is "terminally" ill. She confesses her desire to her hair dresser. Beagle's mom had recently passed away while his dad (Easy) had been having a secret love affair with Georgia's grandmother for many many years now. I am convinced the movie's flaws are a faulty in direction, then again playing a diseased character is not easy to pull of either but the other characters are worse, so... Also, I imagine many of the great reviews has to do with the recent Twilight movie, were Kristen Stewart also stars and this has won her many fans. I dare to emphasize direction could have been a lot better. There are way too many scenes with meaningless silence which took me to a state of desperation. The movie could have been reduced to 1hr if the silence patches (trying to create ineffective suspense) were cut out. End of the line The movie is sweet but the characters could have been better developed and also the plot. As for the title of the movie "The Cake Eaters" its metaphor doesn't do the movie justice, it seems as if there's going to be a little action or comedy perhaps that is totally missing. For real,it HAD potential, oh well! I wouldn't recommend buying the movie nor its rental. You can wait till its out in TV and then maybe give it a watch!!!
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10/10
Kristen Stewart- Awesome
sasung24 March 2009
Nice movie. Recently,i saw all the movies of Kristen Stewart.... She has done excellent job in this movie. Don't miss this movie,You will get a piece of cake for SURE!!!! Here is the outline :- It features Twilight starlet Kristen Stewart as its centerpiece, a fact that the marketing guys behind the picture really want to hammer home. To get those dollars moving, they tote the fact that the young actress has obtained "billions of impressions" and all that hoopla, but there are even more intriguing elements than that lying underneath the surface of Master son's debut directorial effort. To my surprise, The Cake Eaters is a modest and winning character drama hallmarked by strong performances that follow stride with Jayce Bartok's sentimental script, one that creates a smart parallel between its title and the oddly tranquil world quaking underneath its theatrics. A story of two families living in a small town in upstate New York, the film trots out its gallery of rural grotesques with deliberate non-emphasis, defining each by a few quickly mapped-out quirks, a slowly developing back story, and a varying degree of difficulty in articulating their inner lives.
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7/10
solid directorial debut
SnoopyStyle2 December 2014
Easy Kimbrough (Bruce Dern) is the butcher in the rural community who lives with his loser son Beagle (Aaron Stanford). His sickly wife recently died and they're selling her stuff at the swap meet. There they help Marg Kaminski (Elizabeth Ashley) and her granddaughter Georgia (Kristen Stewart). Georgia suffers from Friedreich's Ataxia, a terminal neurological genetic disease. Georgia's mother Violet (Talia Balsam) constantly takes Artistic pictures of Georgia and tries new age treatments. Easy's oldest son Guy (Jayce Bartok) returns home as a failed musician after 3 years in NYC. He's trying to reconnect with his ex Stephanie (Miriam Shor).

It's a bunch of damaged likable people struggling to make something of their lives. I like Beagle and Georgia. I like that she's the more aggressive person and the toughest person in the movie. Aaron Stanford does a good job and Kristen Stewart is skinny enough to be a cripple. Although her disability does come and go at times. I don't find the older brother Guy quite as compelling. His story is somewhat unnecessary. I like Mary Stuart Masterson's theatrical directorial debut. It is sensitive and solid. It's a very commendable first effort.
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8/10
Nice, simple film
max-height18 July 2010
This isn't a flashy movie, but it is a nice simple, beautifully photographed, well crafted film. The characters are true to themselves and it was a pleasure to watch. For some reason, I really liked it. It also has a great soundtrack that works well with the overall poetic feeling of the movie. A very impressive directing debut for Mary Stuart Masterson. Although I'd like to see her in front of the camera, MSM does a great job behind the camera on this film. Kristin Stewart is completely believable as the disabled Georgia, and treats her character honestly and forthrightly with a subtle dignity, and it was a joy to watch her act. Bruce Dern and Elizabeth Ashley also do their jobs well and are completely believable.
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"Some things just get better with age. You are one of them."
TxMike17 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
For some reason I have always liked Mary Stuart Masterson, even though she never became a "star." But here she shows her low-key approach to directing with this small, intimate picture. I enjoyed it, sort of as a slice of life and coming of age, even for a 70-year-old.

Kristen Stewart is teen Georgia, pretty and smart but with a genetic flaw which makes her a bit unsteady on her feet and sound like she is always half-drunk. Plus, she expects her heart to give out at a rather early age. She begins to wonder what life has in store for her. Part of that is wondering what sex is all about. She shares this with her grandmother.

The second key character is Aaron Stanford as 20-year-old 'Beagle' Kimbrough, son of the local butcher, and a cafeteria worker at the local upstate New York school where Georgia goes. Beagle is a bit socially challenged, but pretty Georgia takes an interest in him, and at a flea market she asks if he will come over later and help her with her homework.

I have been sort of a fan of Bruce Dern, but always found him to be quirky-looking, and he often got quirky roles. But here he is very normal, and good, as Easy, the butcher. His wife had died only a few weeks earlier, his older son showed up after being gone 3 years to pursue an ill-fated singing career, and the strained relationships showed among the three of them.

And finally Elizabeth Ashley is Marg, the grandmother of Georgia. It is clear that she and Easy share more than just a passing friendship.

SPOILERS: Georgia wants to experience sex while she still can and she picks Beagle. They ride on his scooter out to some cottages where, coincidentally, Marg and Easy had been before, many years earlier. The two of them had a long relationship going, and Easy's "coming of age" at 70 was to realize that he really wanted to marry her.
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9/10
Heart-warming, heart wrenching
DeeNine-27 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This is an emotional story about human love in a rural American setting. As such it will probably bring tears to your eyes. I know it did to mine. The script by Jayce Bartok and the direction by Mary Stuart Masterson are carefully composed to create a celebration of love that defies convention.

Georgia (Kristen Stewart) is a 15-year-old girl suffering from Friedreich's ataxia. When her to-be lover, cafeteria worker Beagle (Aaron Stanford), asks if she is going to get better, Georgia says, "No, this is pretty much as good as it's gonna get until my heart gives out." She has invited him into her bedroom to help her with her homework. At one point she says, "You can kiss me if you want to." Stewart plays the part with limbs all askew and dangling almost helplessly. Yet her face is so, so pretty and healthy looking that the contrast is striking. The next day they go to a motel. She is determined to experience love before she dies. The idea is so touching.

Also sure to pull your heart strings is the older and mostly secret love affair between Easy Kimbrough (Bruce Dern) and Marg Kaminski (Elizabeth Ashley). Bittersweet is Guy Kimbrough's (Jayce Bartok) realization that his girlfriend Stephanie (Miriam Shor) has married and started a family in his absence.

All of this could easily go from pathos to bathos to the maudlin except for the careful direction by Masterson and the fine acting all around.

What I have been trying to figure out is why the movie is entitled "The Cake Eaters." What came to mind was Marie Antoinette's infamous, "Let them eat cake," but I couldn't see the connection.

--Dennis Littrell, author of the movie review book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote"
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7/10
Stiring the Pot
doctorsmoothlove10 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The Cake Eaters is a cleverly-titled independent drama from 2007. Directed by Fried Green Tomatoes actress Mary Masterson, the film spent two years in purgatory before finding a distributor. It was released in 2009, presumably to accompany Kristen Stewart's ascent to stardom.

It's unfortunate that we had to wait to so long. The film is an excellent evaluation of Stewart's success when picked for correct roles. Her off camera shenanigans have pointed to a tomboyish personality that Twilight's conservatism forces her to mask. I read a post on IMDb's page for New Moon in which one poster laments "Kristen doesn't portray Bella as wanting to be protected enough". I hate to argue in favor of that point, but alas, I will. The sexist gender role of Meyer's books is something Stewart isn't capable of doing successfully. All the films would be better if she were the one protecting Edward or if another person were Bella.

We don't quite get that kind of tailored movie here, but it's a good example of either a director noticing someone's talent or just sheer luck. For the first time, we see Stewart take the active role in a romantic film. Her character, Georgia, is a teenager with a nerve disorder that slurs her speech and causes her to limp. She has lingering anxiety about her virginity. Life would be so much easier if she could find a boy or man for that special deflowering service.

She finds a candidate while at a flea market with her mother. He's a milquetoast late twenty-something guy who happens to be her neighbor. The lad is so loyal to his family that he's earned the nickname "Beagle". He qualifies for her because he lives nearby and isn't unattractive. He even works as a cafeteria server at her high school and his father is having an affair with her grandmother.

The film has a refreshingly objective view of adolescent sexuality. Beagle is violating social law by eventually sleeping with an underage girl, yet, she is the one who encourages him. She is probably at least five years younger than he yet more emotionally mature. She's willing to cut her hair and wear a sexy outfit to seduce him. He does not have to like her and maybe he doesn't. The next boy will have to do that. He is at first reluctant to indulge in the best of life's pleasures, but thankfully he does.

Beagle's father has visited another woman for most of his married life and could not reconcile his shame to be with his wife while she was dying. He now sits back and watches his son do something unethical, unlawful, and moral. Neither he nor his partner has the authority to stop the relationship. Georgia's mother tries to, fails, and the elderly watch history repeat itself as their brood romance in the same motel their ancestors did so many years ago. The two young people wake up and go to school the next day. Do they love each other? I'm not able to answer. Each got what he or she wanted from the other and brought redemptive justice to his or her older relative. And the reviewer who observed the film enjoyed it. He got to see a frank film about a subject so whitewashed in traditional romantic cinema or the films of his contemporary actresses.

Recommend
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7/10
A Nice Slice of Cake....
anthonyjlangford26 February 2010
Kristen Stewart is now a star. It's really a shame. She could once do interesting work, as in this film and 'Adventureland'. However she will be forever known as the sulky starlet from the Terrible Tale of Taut, Teethy, Toddlers in the Twilight Teeniverse. Stephanie Meyer has a lot to answer for.

Mary Stuart Masterson makes her debut here as director, yet is better known as the cool tomboy drummer, Watts from 'Some Kind of Wonderful'. She also starred opposite Sean Penn in 'At Close Range' and with Johnny Depp in 'Benny and Joon'. Here, her approach is more subtle. She doesn't overcompensate with her low budget, she settles on steady shots allowing the characters to reveal the story.

It's a rural life, but all is not calm. Easy (Bruce Dern) lives with his two grown sons, one of whom has just returned after three years away, missing his mother's sickness and funeral. There are a few issues to sort out. Meanwhile, school girl Georgie (Kristen Stewart) is struggling under her dominating mother. As if her terminal illness isn't bad enough. She simply want to experience a normal life while she can. In short, she wants to lose her virginity. Can cafeteria worker Beagle, who is Easy's son, fill the void?

There is more here than meets the eye. The relationships are complicated and sometimes not everything can worked out. We all must compromise and yet some people can't see past themselves. Everyone has needs, from the young to the old and we're just struggling to be accepted, preferably by someone we connect with.

It feels like a novel and yet the script was written by Jayce Bartok, who plays Easy's eldest son Guy. Its a competent piece of work. It's not a film that will wrench your emotions from your gut, but as time wears on, you invest more into the characters and find yourself wanting even more. Sometimes it feels as though scenes are missing. In fact the German Film Market version was supposed to run 100 minutes. Here's its under 85. It was enough, but a few extra scenes more might have fleshed it out and made it a more complete experience.

Nevertheless, wonderful performances, especially by the excellent Bruce Dern (Big Love, Silent Running) and TV & Stage star, Elizabeth Ashley and a nice beginning for Mary Stuart Masterson, who I hope continues on her directorial drive.

It's more deserving than a Kristen Stewart curio, but if it gets people to it, then let them eat cake.
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