Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Tatiana Maslany
Directed by David Gordon Green
Jake Gyllenhaal is setting off awards season alarms with his stirring portrayal of Jeff Bauman, a regular bloke who lost his legs in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. In lesser hands, Stronger — based on Bauman’s memoir — could have easily been turned into a schmaltzy Lifetime Movie of the Week.
That didn’t happen on director David Gordon Green’s watch. He approaches Bauman’s struggles (with his disability and him being hailed a hero) like a documentary, drawing heartfelt performances from his actors — including Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany as Bauman’s on-off girlfriend and Miranda Richardson as his boozing mother — while keeping things saccharine-light. (***1/2)