Release Date: September 22, 2017
MPAA Rating: R (for language throughout, some graphic injury images, and brief sexuality/nudity)
The film “Stronger” is appropriately titled for many reasons. It is the fact-based story of Jeff Bauman, a survivor of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, but the movie is so much more than that.
One would be hard-pressed to find a stronger performance by a male actor on the big screen this year than that of Jake Gyllenhaal who portrays Bauman in this film. His take on the man whose iconic photo in the aftermath of the tragic event touched so many lives, is totally convincing. Gyllenhaal, assisted by the excellent film direction of David Gordon Green, takes the audience along the journey of this innocent bystander whose life – like so many others on that day – was forever changed.
Gyllenhaal’s performance, which is often agonizing as he endures the pain and eventual triumph of physical rehabilitation, is nearly equaled in measure by Tatiana Maslany in her supporting role as Bauman’s girlfriend, Erin.
The screenplay by John Pollono captures the essence of the events of the tragedy, and of the subsequent spirit of the movement that came to be known as Boston Strong.
There may be stronger films released this year, but Academy voters should hand the Oscar now to Jake Gyllenhaal for Best Actor in a Motion Picture. He’s that good.