“Powerful. Raw” – My Mother on Stronger (2017)
Theatrical Release: September 22nd, 2017
Genre: Biography, Drama
I haven’t written one of these in a while, not any particular reason why. I was waiting for a movie to really hit me, and in the last little while I have had a string of really great inspirational movies, So I thought I would bring this back, and I realize its not monday, but I’m the writer, I can bend the rules I came up with.
I saw this trailer randomly a couple of months ago, and my jaw was on the floor and there were tears in my eyes. Thats just from the trailer! I am alright saying I cried multiple times during this film, so bring tissues.
These based on a true story movies are getting me more and more these days, I think its my appreciation for history. I really like hearing about these true stories based on real people and real event stories, whether they’re dramatized or not. They also provide an incredible source of inspiration for me, as these are real people going through real things and being a real symbol of inspiration.
Stronger is a Biography and Drama picture about the life of Jeff Bauman, a man who captured the hearts of his city and the world to become a symbol of hope after surviving the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing.
Stronger is directed by David Gordon Green. Green’s filmography consists of Pineapple Express (2008). He is also directing the upcoming Halloween movie in 2018 (which has me excited). But all I have seen of David Gordon Green is Pineapple Express, which was surprising to me, the technique and the excellent performance he was able to get out his actors was absolutely incredible. This was a film made by someone who really wanted to tell the story about Jeff Bauman, who wanted to show the heart and the true story of this man. I think David Gordon Green accomplished that flawlessly.
Stronger is written by John Pollono based on the book by Jeff Bauman and Bret Witter. John Pollono’s filmography consists of nothing I have seen before. Actually, surprisingly, this was his first screenplay. I say surprisingly because it was extremely well crafted, and well made. The complete dysfunction on behalf of Bauman’s extended family, the intimate scenes with him and his girlfriend, the really intriguing story arc of Jeff Bauman. I’d be interesting in reading his book after watching this movie. I thought the screenplay was just really well written, and had a lot of heart and inspiration to it.
Stronger stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Jeff Bauman, Tatiana Maslany as Erin Hurley, Miranda Richardson as Patty Bauman, and Clancy Brown as Big Jeff.
Jake Gylenhaal’s filmography consists of October Sky (1999), Bubble Boy (2001), Donnie Darko (2001), The Day After Tomorrow (2004), Proof (2005), Jarhead (2005), Zodiac (2007), Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time (2010), Love & Other Drugs (2010), Source Code (2011), End Of Watch (2012), Enemy (2013), Prisoners (2013), Nightcrawler (2014), Southpaw (2015), and Demolition (2015). I think its safe to say that I am a fan of Jake Gyllenhaal. I’ve seen a lot of his movies and enjoy them all, minus Donnie Darko (2001), which isn’t because of him at all, I just didn’t find the movie all that great. I also believe that he was absolutely robbed of an Oscar nomination for Nightcrawler (2014. If you haven’t seen Nightcrawler, I cannot recommend it enough. Anyways back to Stronger, Gyllenhaal was absolutely incredible in this role, I thought he brought a lot of real emotion to the screen. I was super invested throughout the entire movie and it wasn’t just because I didn’t know much about the real life Jeff Bauman, I was interested in the person he was and how Jake played him. I found myself forgetting I was watching an actor do his job and I thought it was the real Jeff Bauman. I think, and this is early, that Jake Gyllenhaal will get his long overdue oscar for this, he was incredible. I think thats all I can say about him.
Tatiana Maslany’s filmography consists of Eastern Promises (2007), and The Vow (2012). I am really not familiar with Maslany’s acting, but she was really lovely and fantastic in this movie. I thought she had great chemistry with Jake Gyllenhaal, I thought she played off him very well and she did a really fantastic job.
Miranda Richardson’s filmography consists of Sleepy Hollow (1999), Chicken Run (2000), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010). This woman was born to play annoying, gritty, grindy characters. What I mean by that is that every role I’ve seen her play she’s bothered me, she has got under my skin and i’ve actively disliked her. I think thats a testament to her acting, I thought she did a good job and I was really annoyed by her throughout.
Clancy Brown’s filmography consists of The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Dead Man Walking (1995), Starship Troopers (1997), A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010), Cowboys & Aliens (2011), and Hail Caesar! (2016). This guy has a really recognizable face, Its very easy for me to say, hey thats the captain of the guards from The Shawshank Redemption (1994). He is also a really good actor, he is really great at playing a very balanced character, but he is also really good at losing his shit and being intimidating. He was able to showcase that skill in Stronger very well.
The acting is really wells one in this movie, its super well done.
This movie really inspired me. To see the strength and the courage that this guy who suffered an extremely traumatic event, just floors me. To see the battle that this guy went through with himself, and the hope that he encompassed, was just baffling. This movie gave me the strength and showed me that no matter how hard things may be, no matter how difficult life may seem, no matter what obstacles are in your way, you have the strength in hope to overcome that. When your relationships are hazy, you look to that one person, you look to that family member, that person on the street and you say thanks. You thank them for coming into your life and helping you. This film makes me want to be a better person and makes me want to help people more on a daily basis and to not take it for granted. Thinks that may feel or seem impossible are in reach if you just work for it. Life isn’t always going to hand you a straight flush, but its what you do with the cards your handed is what makes you stronger.
I give Stronger a 5/5, and as I have told two of my friends already and my mother, this is the best film I have seen this year so far.
Until Next Time, Stay Inspired!
Blade Runner 2049