Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
Jake Gyllenhaal – Jeff Bauman
Tatiana Maslany – Erin
Clancy Brown – Jeff Bauman Sr.
Miranda Richardson – Patty Bauman
Frankie Shaw – Gail Hurley
Jimmy LeBlanc – Larry
I sat through this movie with an arse-numbing sense of boredom, wishing it would end as swiftly as it started. Gyllenhaal delivered the ‘goods’ as a physically and emotionally scarred Jeff Bauman. A constantly miserable face and an aggressive tone of voice for almost 117 minutes was more than enough to make me detest what I was sat watching. Subsequent scenes involving Jeff’s parents going about their daily lives seemed almost irrelevant too; if I wanted to observe two grown women stumble through a living room drunk, I would’ve just stayed home and watched Absolutely Fabulous – not Miranda Richardson with bleached hair. Yes the woman has a very convincing American accent, but the wow factor ends there. Her contribution to this movie was nothing more than a person in one of those southern American ‘trailer trash’ reality shows, ultimately taking a massive step down the film career ladder.
So shabby matriarch mother and a very angry son were enough to send me into a state of agitation. The longer I sat there watching this dull crap the more I wanted out. I wanted to feel more engaged in Stronger, to enjoy the character development and messages of hope, strength.. but the entire production was like a promotional stint. Just a finger pointing at the protagonist in a, “hey everyone, look – this really happened!” way. This movie is based on a true story so additional story is limited, but it does manage to highlight the aftermath of Bauman’s accident well. There’s really not much more I can elaborate on; Gyllenhaal’s character wheels around in a chair shouting at people in bars and causing fights. Maslany spends almost all of her screen time flitting around the set whining to woe-like perfection. Richardson acts a drunken state. And the supporting cast are about as effective as butter on a carpet burn.
Jesus, I hated this movie – can you tell?
If you do enjoy a story of struggle-turns-strength, definitely give Stronger a watch because it does enough convey the progression of a broken man’s life after he suffers a fatal accident. It follows his journey and shows how a person’s attitude can change towards certain things when they are thrown into a difficult situation. Mirroring its title, this movie is a point in a positive direction, ultimately showing the result of what happens when a person is in the right place at the wrong time.
Stronger? More like fucking weaker; sitting watching this movie almost sent me into a paralyzing state of monotony. It did absolutely nothing to keep me interested in the character or his story, and by the end I was aching to get out of the cinema. Sad but true.
Stronger is pure Bank Holiday material. The sort of film you catch on television when you’re on the sofa, get to the end of, then switch off and forget instantly when you realise you have more important things to do – like feed the cat.