How much time must elapse before a film is made about a tragedy? That question can be quite prickly. Five years after September 11, 2001, United 93 was released, and one of the common complaints was that the terrorist attack was still such a raw, open wound that many didn’t want to watch the film. Which leads us to a film that’s coming out shortly: Stronger, based on the true story of Boston Marathon Bombing survivor Jeff Bauman, who lost both legs in the attack. The attack was in 2013, and we’re only four years out from it. Here’s the trailer.
First and foremost: can take a moment to remember why we love Jake Gyllenhaal? It was easy to rip on him for Prince of Persia, and it felt like he had to go away to atone for that one for a little bit. Jake’s a damn good actor (far more worthy than the one-note Casey Affleck in the humble opinion of this wiseass), and you want to watch him. In fact, the trailer makes it pretty clear that this is his film – there’s far less emphasis on Tatiana Maslany, who plays Bauman’s real-life then-girlfriend Erin Hurley, or even Miranda Richardson, who plays Bauman’s mother. This is Gyllenhaal’s struggle and triumph we get to watch.
The question, then, is will we watch it? Is it still too raw, or are we ready for a story of a person putting their life back together in the wake of something awful?