With awards season heating up in America just as quickly as muggy summer temperatures, may we present you with a new film hoping for possible Oscar glory: Stronger.
Starring the dream team of Jake Gyllenhaal and Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany, both armed with Boston accents, Stronger is the latest film to depict the horrific 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. (A previous film about the tragedy, Patriots Day and starring Boston's finest Mark Wahlberg, was a box-office disappointment but was decently received by critics.)
The premise revolves around the true story of Jeff Bauman (Gyllenhaal), a Boston man who "captured the hearts of his city and the world to become the symbol of hope" following the bombing. As the narrative unfolds, Bauman turns up at the marathon in the hopes of winning his ex-girlfriend (Maslany) back. As he waits by the finish line, the fatal blast occurs, and he loses both of his legs in the explosion. Though he's able to survive the attack, Bauman's physical recovery and emotional journey—and not to mention, the crippling PTSD of it all—understandably proves to be an arduous process. Still, he perseveres with the full support of his family and his ex-girlfriend, and ends up becoming an iconic symbol of strength in the city.
Gyllenhaal, who also produced Stronger, recently elaborated on the lengths he chose to go as an actor when he took the role. "I spent all of my days in a wheelchair. Simulating the idea of having lost my legs above the knee, which Jeff did," he said to Deadline. "I ran then, too. At a certain point when we were in Boston, even when we were in preproduction, throughout that journey, I was running almost 10 to 15 miles sometimes."
The film is set to hit theaters on September 22.
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