Is Jennifer Aniston Now A Hot Contender For Oscar Nomination? ‘Cake’ Release Date Brought Forward

Jennifer Aniston has been mocked in Hollywood for years for churning out average rom-coms but she could be on the verge of proving her critics wrong as speculation is rife that she could well receive a Best Actress Oscar for her critically-acclaimed role in Cake, with the release date strategically moved forward just in time to qualify.

Cake, directed by Daniel Barnz, received its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last month and it was one of the highlights of the showcase with Jennifer, 45, receiving applause for her role as the troubled Claire Simmons. Well, Deadline reports that producers are confident that Cake has the potential to win over the Academy Awards as the film will now be released in December a week before the window closes for films to be eligible for nomination.

Praising Jennifer for her performance, Barnz said of his female lead: “When my life and producing partner Ben Barnz and I first read Cake just fourteen months ago, we knew we had to go to Jennifer Aniston. It was the most obvious un-obvious choice – she’s mega-talented, but we’ve never seen the whole range of her extraordinary comic and dramatic abilities showcased in one role.” For the role, Jennifer had to completely strip back her typical glamorous look to appear as dowdy Claire, with bad hair and little make-up, which is possibly what impressed critics most. Addressing her shocking look in the film, Jennifer told People last month: “It’s awesome and liberating to let that all go. And see yourself looking like that on a 50-foot screen.”

Jennifer Aniston is believed to be in the running for a Best Actress Oscar for 2015 (Splash News)

Mark Canton and Courtney Solomon, producers at Cinelou Films, have reportedly set up a new branch of the company, Cinelou Releasing, which will carry Cake as its first project. Interestingly, Cinelou Releasing has struck up a deal with Warner Bros. for the international distribution of its first six films over the next three. Confirming the deal and the release of Cake, Solomon said in a statement: “Having a U.S. distribution arm was always part of our strategy to be in control of the creative, marketing and financial results of our films. We were very pleased with how Cake turned out and are excited about all the opportunities the film presents on multiple levels… Cinelou was formed to produce brave, bold and interesting films that both challenge and showcase talent.”

Canton added: “We’re very proud and excited that our new distribution banner will allow Cake to be released with the same passion and commitment that went into making the film.” Cake, which also stars the late Misty Upham, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington and Felicity Huffman, centers on Jennifer’s Claire who suffers addiction and chronic and ends up falling for a recently widowed man. It’ll hit cinemas for a wide release in January.  She’s come a long way since Friends!

The actress in character and on set of Cake in May (Cousart/JFXimages/