Aniston as an Oscar contender?

Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston

LOS ANGELES: A fledgling film distributor announced Monday that it will sneak a little indie film you’ve never heard of into theaters before the end of the year — and suddenly the show biz world was abuzz. Why? Because an under-the-wire release date is a traditional indicator that producers see a film as having awards potential. And it appears that Cinelou Releasing is betting “Cake” just might finally be the Oscar role for its lead actress — Jennifer Aniston, our most paradoxical movie star.

Picturing the former “Friends” star as an Academy Award nominee is almost as strange as learning that she was the third highest paid actress from June 2013 to June 2014. She still acts, sure, but $31 million worth?

Just compare her year to the A-listers who surpassed her: Sandra Bullock and Jennifer Lawrence both snagged Oscar nominations for performances that required channeling a full spectrum of emotions. And Lawrence was the star of 2013’s biggest money-maker, “Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” which raked in more than $860 million worldwide.

Aniston, meanwhile, starred in “We’re the Millers.”.

Aniston’s annual haul makes more sense when you consider her diversified sources of revenue: “Friends” reruns and endorsements for Aveeno and Vitamin Water.

Despite waves of hype going back 20 years to her days as Must See TV’s breakout ingenue, Aniston has never managed to prove herself a Star the way Bullock has, carrying a movie while floating alone in space, or Lawrence, believably leading a coup against the Capitol of Panem. Rarely is Aniston the sole focus of a film.

Still, Aniston will go up against stiff competition this year from past Oscar nominees Amy Adams for “Big Eyes,” Julianne Moore for “Still Alice” and Jessica Chastain in “A Most Violent Year,” not to mention Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon for “Wild.” Aniston would also have to battle it out against buzzed about up-and-comers Felicity Jones (“The Theory of Everything”) and Rosamund Pike (“Gone Girl”).



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