Stronger (I) (2017)

R   |    |  Biography, Drama

Stronger (2017) Poster

Stronger is the inspiring real life story of Jeff Bauman, an ordinary man who captured the hearts of his city and the world to become a symbol of hope after surviving the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

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  • Jake Gyllenhaal in Stronger (2017)
  • Jeff Bauman at an event for Stronger (2017)
  • Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany in Stronger (2017)
  • Jake Gyllenhaal and Jeff Bauman in Stronger (2017)
  • Miranda Richardson at an event for Stronger (2017)
  • Tatiana Maslany in Stronger (2017)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

22 September 2017 | jdesando
A docudrama that gives you more than history. Well done.
"Boston is the cream of the crop of the marathon world. It has such history that you feel such honor just being a part of it. All the other races have pacers to get you to a Boston qualifying time." Summer Sanders

For those of us who have attended the Boston Marathon, the 15 April 2013 bombing was a personal matter about a public but humane event characterized by a warm communal vibe tethered to a strong competitive event. Director David Gordon Green's intimately-told Stronger depicts the ordeal of Jeff Bauman (Jake Gyllenhaal), who lost two legs to the bombs but not his will to rise above the tragedy.

The strength of this docudrama is the mercurial relationship between Jeff and his girlfriend, Erin (Tatiana Maslany). Avoiding the clichéd story of overcoming all obstacles, Stronger takes time with the smaller things of life, like family and going to the bathroom.

Gyllenhaal, a producer of this film, relays his torment about connecting permanently with her while he retains the sense of humor that lets him joke about his lost legs right after gaining consciousness in the hospital (Forrest Gump, Lt. Dan joke).

A most personal and humane story, Stronger evidences the heroic possibilities even in the most common of men. Specifically, as a chicken processor at COTCO, Jeff holds not much promise for such a prospect as Erin. Yet he's a good person, a smart person, and brighter than his Chelmsford buds and his boozy mother, Patty (Miranda Richardson). All of these characters are so believably "Boston," I thought I was back working in Dorchester.

Alas, no docudrama is perfect, and this one suffers from shots and scenes too slow, and eventually the almost two-hour film is too long by about 15 minutes. However, just maybe the filmmakers wanted us to feel the numbing effect of a long marathon that couldn't have foreseen it would become iconic.

"Grit is living life like it's a marathon, not a sprint." Angela Duckworth

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Did You Know?


Bruins fans Scott and Aaron Tisdale were extras in the scenes filmed when Jeff Bauman receives the honor of being wheeled out to wave the Bruins flag at the "Bruins vs Blackhawks game. Those scenes were actually reenacted on 4/5/2016 after the Boston Bruins vs Carolina Hurricanes game.


Jeff Bauman: You've just got to work, like, you know, your core strength and everything and then you've got to stand up on them and get your balance right. But they're like... They have... They're like feet. They're like feet and legs. They are attached to shoes...


When Jeff comes out for the national anthem during the hockey game, both benches are empty and both teams hockey players are nowhere to be seen. In real life, the anthem is sung just prior to puck drop with all of the players and coaches present; either on the ice at the blue lines or on the bench. This reality also separates hockey from other sports such as baseball, basketball and football which, apart from huge games like season openers or championships, usually complete the anthem singing during warmups or while the players are still in the dugout or tunnel. Additionally, one of the advertisements on the boards is for the NHL's playoff bracket contest despite the fact that the division re-alignment that created the bracket system (in which teams must first play the teams in their division before advancing to the conference finals) was first instituted during the 2014-15 season and not during the 2013 playoffs in which the film is supposed to be taking place.


Everything I Do Is Wrong
Written by Greg Cartwright
Performed by Reigning Sound
Under license from Third Side Music, Inc.


Plot Summary


Biography | Drama

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