A lot of new trailers have come out this week, including the first trailer for Stronger, the movie in which Jake Gyllenhaal plays Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman. Unlike Mark Wahlberg’s Patriots Day, the bombing isn’t the focus - Bauman’s recovery after losing his legs is. He was also a key witness during the manhunt, but that angle is left out of the trailer, which is emphasizing hope and survival more than anything. Whoever cut this knows what they’re doing—that’s exactly the tone people are looking for right now. Stronger comes across as a story of indomitable will and hope in the face of loss, which makes the movie look uplifting and inspiring. Which is smart because the terrorism angle doesn’t play anymore.
But it’s also Jake Gyllenhaal, a movie about physical transformation, and a fall release date. You know what that means: Oscar bait. I don’t think Jake G pursues potential Oscar projects quite as obviously (or as desperately) as Leonardo DiCaprio did, but he does keep making movies in that wheelhouse. So far, it hasn’t gotten him anywhere—the only nomination he has is more than ten years old, for Brokeback Mountain. When I mentioned the Oscar potential of this movie, Lainey said that this year’s Best Actor crop could be Daniel Day-Lewis vs. Chadwick Boseman vs. Jake Gyllenhaal vs. Gary Oldman (who has a Winston Churchill biopic coming up). That very well could be, but the fifth spot on the roster is empty. Who is the fifth competitor?