Movie Review – Birthday Cake (2021)


Birthday cake, 2021.

Directed by Jimmy Giannopoulos.
Starring Shiloh Fernandez, Ewan McGregor, Val Kilmer, Lorraine Bracco, William Fichtner, Aldis Hodge, Penn Badgley, Jeremy Allen White, Ashley Benson, Luis Guzmán, John Magaro, Paul Sorvino, David Mazouz, Jake Weary, Emory Cohen, Vincent Pastore, Marla Maples, Franky G, Joseph D’Onofrio, Emily Tremaine, Nick Vallelonga, Jordan Lane, Price Tyler, Dean Flores, Anthony Mangano, Clara McGregor, Sergio Rizzuto, Emilio Vitolo, Nathalie Rock, Max Daniels, Isabelle Phillips, Andrea Barnes, and Frank Vallelonga.

Birthday cake


On the tenth anniversary of his father’s death, Giovanni reluctantly accepts the assignment to bring the cake home to his uncle, the leader of the crowd, for the party. Just two hours a night, Gion’s life changes forever.

Birthday-cake-8-600x400 Everything from the synopsis, the flashback prologue to the title itself, Birthday cake, provides a fairly obvious picture of what happened and where the story ends. Such predictability may be frustrating in other hands (and sometimes there are still quite a few empty but slightly amusing deviations here), but director Jimmy Giannopoulos (writing a screenplay alongside Diomedes Raul Bermudez and star Shiloh Fernandez of the Itinerary of the East) performs the execution at the same time. As if someone had cleverly come up with an evocative final and worked backwards to get the story to the finish. Fortunately, the journey there is also logical and tense, as if the situation could escalate at any time.

Gio (Shiloh Fernandez) is clearly incapable of the way he was born, incapable of standing in front of Russian bullies at a young age and demanding the push of his hot-headed cousin Leon (Emory Cohen) to fight. Fairly, giving a gun to someone is also probably not the right way to teach someone self-esteem and defend themselves, but it’s clear that Leo means taking good care of his cousin, while most other relatives probably don’t care. Gio’s father is tragically ignored, while his mother, Sophia (Good‘Lorraine Bracco) has developed into depression in her passing.


Flash forward 10 years, and while Gio doesn’t seem to be covered yet, it has also built a spine, still carrying uncertainty. However, at Christmas, which coincides with the tenth anniversary of his father’s death, Sophia bakes a cake for a large family each year (it is virtually impossible to keep track of how many cousins ​​and uncles there are, although it allows for a pleasant performance of many familiar subgenre actors). As a result, he trusts Gion to deliver a dessert that frustrates and growls that he is too old to see that.

Nonetheless, Gio obliges him to set out on his personal odyssey to discover the secrets of the family, all of which are easily broken by except him. It is also intentional Birthday cake; the characters speak privately of what really happened to Gion’s father. Leo is also dealing with shameful drug trafficking drugs opposite Puerto Ricans and the FBI is breathing in his neck. In that sense, the film is also at the crossroads of the right thing, although first Gion has to really figure out what’s right. It’s also clear that there’s a lot of racial tension in this neighborhood, which is surprisingly addressed in a rather humorous and heartfelt scene from Luis Guzman as a taxi driver who gives Puerto Rico the pride to show.

Birthday cake 3-600x400

Today, the head of the table, Uncle Angelo, is played by Val Kilmer, who is admittedly one of the higher points. There are no camera tricks or attempts to hide his throat cancer or difficulty talking; he is only allowed to operate with subtitles across the screen while still having the ability to control the room. I’m not entirely sure if Val Kilmer needs money or if he genuinely wants to keep going (and if it’s the latter, he’s all right when the writers find suitable ways to include him in the story), but it’s definitely no shame to look at him here compared to some god- terribly Snowman. It’s by no means a great presentation, and is the wrong step in giving an unnecessary presentation as to why the character is having difficulty speaking. Still, it’s enjoyable to see Val Kilmer here and offer intrigue about what he’s allowed to do Supreme weapon: Maverick.

In fact, all the performances here are in good shape. Shiloh Fernandez gives a nuanced translation, questioning family loyalty and seeking advice from a long-time trusted friendly priest (Ewan McGregor). Lorraine Bracco shines on a limited screen, reliable performers like William Fichtner, as usual, shine in evil and small support players breathe more liveliness into the whole family. Birthday cake will be brief, clarifying certain details and characters, but it doesn’t matter given the uniquely exciting last 30 minutes. There’s also the option to read this review or summary alone to know how it ends, but I assure you that it won’t take away the excitement when it happens.

Flickering myth rating – Movie: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★

Robert Kojder is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Critics Choice Association. He is also a Flickering Myth review editor. Check here For new reviews, follow mine Twitter or Letterboxdor send an email to [email protected]

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