The first trailer for the Jeff Bauman biopic Stronger dropped this morning, and it’s… well, it’s tough to watch, but we have some confidence in this movie. In case you don’t remember, Bauman lost both of his legs in the Marathon bombing four years back, and he’s being portrayed in the film by Jake Gyllenhaal.
Here, take a gander at it, and we’ll follow up with you after the jump.
Well, it’s certainly not Patriots Day. There’s no composite cop roles for Marky Mark, and the whole thing isn’t just an excuse to have some action movie bullshit with “based on a true story” excusing all of its many faults. This doesn’t seem to be an exercise in ego gratification. Still, this isn’t a particularly great trailer; it leans too heavily on awards-movie trailer cliches, and god help us if we have to hear that “Rise Up” song in a trailer again about something somewhat emotional, but buried beneath is the movie it’s advertising, which looks really quite special.
Gyllenhaal is one hell of an actor who comes at his most simple and contrived roles with a poise and polish that elevates whatever he’s in, and he’s got himself quite a task here.
It looks like there’s a significant focus on Bauman’s initial reluctance to become a “hero” of the day, and that’s a fascinating complicating factor that might make this different. There’s a swell cast surrounding him, including Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany amongst other brilliant and low-key performers like Clancy Brown and Miranda Richardson. David Gordon Green’s directing, and he’s a fantastic filmmaker when he wants to be. It’s often lost on people how good he is at what he does, and it’s a bummer that the Pineapple Expresses of his career will often overshadow empathetic masterworks like George Washington and Snow Angels. And, frankly, it looks like he’s bringing his naturalistic style and easy grace to this potential minefield of a project.
Still, it’s a bit hard to watch this stuff.
We guess this is how New Yorkers felt watching the first trailers for World Trade Center or United 93, and while there’s no reason to boo this trailer or anything, we’re counting down the days until this movie’s September 22 release date, when it’ll be out of trailer packages and in theaters everywhere.