7:30 PM, 19th April, 2018
After a tragedy occurs, telling the stories of the individuals affected is often the best way for others to understand and relate to what happened. Following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, a New York Times photo of Jeff Bauman became iconic – with the immense interest in it leading to a book and now this film.
Before the bombing, Jeff Bauman (Gyllenhaal) was an anonymous guy. Born and raised in Boston, he worked at Costco, loved his hometown sports teams, and had daily struggles with his divorced, alcoholic mother. He was also obsessed with local girl Erin Hurley (Maslany), who was the reason he was standing at the finish line of the marathon on that day. Obviously, Jeff survives, but his life and the lives of those closest to him are changed forever.
This film allows us not only to watch his physical journey towards recovery but also offers insight into his emotional journey and the journeys of those around him, including Carlos, the ‘stranger’ who was captured in the photo saving Bauman’s life. The result is a powerful and moving film which works on many emotional levels, rising above many other similar films due to Gyllenhaal’s incredibly strong central performance. A must-see.