Thursday, December 18, 2014

Chronic Pain In the Movies

You may have seen some of the press for the upcoming movie "Cake" with Jennifer Aniston. She plays a woman who lives with chronic pain and is addicted to painkillers. Now the movie hasn't yet been released in the states but it was seen at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this year.

Naturally, I'm pretty curious about the film as I imagine many of you, who live with chronic pain, are. How will Hollywood portray someone like us? Will it be more about her additions than about her pain? How will audiences and critics respond to it? I can hardly wait to find out. Of course, I'll still wait until it comes out on Netflix to actually see it as my chronic migraines make going to the movies difficult.

In the meantime I've been reading the reviews that have been written. Most of what I've read has been negative. People don't like the portrayal, the direction, the story, the main character. As I'm reading all this I can't help but wonder if the critics are saying they don't like these things because it's an accurate presentation of the ugliness of chronic pain and they don't understand that because they don't have chronic pain -OR- if it just isn't well done. I suppose it could go either way. 

Obviously, the hope is that it'll be accurate and raw and honest. That people will see it and, even if only for a few days, have a little more empathy and a better understanding of what living with chronic pain does a person. Even as I write this I am thinking to myself, that's a lot to ask of a Hollywood film. Aw heck, I'll go ahead and hope anyway. 

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