Stronger (2017)

In spite of the good, if not great things I've read over the past few months about Stronger, I didn't have very high expectations. Why? This movie is signed David Gordon Green who is responsible for such movies as Pineapple Express and The Sitter, so I wasn't sure how good he'd do a dramatic biopic. Turns out my fears were founded. 

The film tells the story of Jeff Bauman (Jake Gyllenhaal), the man who lost both of his legs in the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing (I can't believe it's almost been 5 years since it happened, I remember it as if it happened yesterday). 

As expected, the film keeps the tragedy in the background and focuses on Jeff Bauman's struggles to get back on his feet and to come to terms with his new life and its challenges. And it's a very interesting story, no matter how predictable it gets. Not to mention how inspirational is the story of a normal guy who becomes a hero for his country after a tragic event hit him. 

But Green's film has one huge problem. Actually, let's make it two, it's quite boring (I often found myself checking the time) and bland. Maybe it's because I'm not American, I don't know, but I found this movie emotionally sterile, basically. The only moment of the film that had an emotional impact on me was seeing Jeff and his wife's photos before the credits.

Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions
Luckily, Stronger has some redeeming qualities, one of those being Jake Gyllenhaal's terrific performance which was, for some reason unknown to mankind, snubbed at the Golden Globes. He once again fully immerses himself in the role which gives this biography that authenticity many biopics lack of. His portrayal of Jeff is excellent as he delivers the man's frustration, anger and pain, both physical and emotional, beautifully. 

And the supporting cast is good too, especially Tatiana Malsany who plays Erin Hurley, Jeff's girlfriend, and has a wonderful chemistry with Gyllenhaal which is key here since their relationship is the heart of the movie. Also great is Miranda Richardson who plays Patty Bauman, Jeff's heavy drinking mother who praises her son but ignores completely was he's going through.



  1. I thought it was boring too. The only thing really saving it was the acting, the rest was so by the books when it comes to movie cliches.

  2. This is exactly why I haven't watched this movie yet. I LOVE Jake Gyllenhaal, but I can't find the drive to see this story!

  3. I don't have much of an interest towards this film as Green's work post-Pineapple Express has been hit/miss for me lately though I've heard a lot of things about Tatiana Malsany's performance that does interest me.

    1. Gyllenhaal and she are good enough to make the film passable. Check it out if you get the chance.

  4. Ne ho sentito parlare moltissimo al momento dell'uscita - si vociferava pure una possibile candidatura agli Oscar per Gyllenhaal ma poi.. - e dopo poco è sparito dai miei radar. Magari lo recupererò più avanti con un po' di calma :)