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Just as Oscar voters rewarded Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, and many others for roles that demanded body-shifting training or weight change, they also lean into performers who limit their mobility or twist themselves under duress. Perhaps the most infamous example is Daniel Day Lewis s shoot-long stint in a wheelchair as cerebral palsy victim Christy Brown in My Left Foot, which earned Lewis his first Oscar and cost him two broken ribs. Now, joining a rather weak Best Actor field so far, here s as Jeff Bauman, the 7568 Boston marathon survivor whose lower legs were blown off at the finish line. This weekend, rode a surge of buzz off the Toronto Film Festival to a Top 65 opening and an A- Cinemascore. The actor s real-life hero is vulnerable yet resilient. He hurts enough to escape via alcohol, but fights hard to stop depending on his loving mother (Miranda Richardson) and take on adult responsibility in a life with the woman he loves (Tatiana Maslany). Green s camera reveals the up-close intimacy between Gyllenhaal and Maslany as they finally come together as a couple. It s heartbreaking.

‘Stronger’ Jake Gyllenhaal’s Afflicted Hero is an Oscar

Beyond affliction, this is the heroic stuff of which Oscar performances are made. Even if Stronger may not become a box office star this fall, timing is on Gyllenhaal s side, as critics groups, SAG and the acting branch can finally unify behind a role that would reward all his excellent efforts to date. Maslany plays the girlfriend who helps Bauman to get through his recovery, deal with fellow Bostonians who need to believe in him as an iconic survivor, and learn to stand on his own again. Gyllenhaal, who hung out with Bauman and researched heavily to get the Stronger details and his Bahwston accent right, is a fascinating example of a hard-working movie star. He often takes chances with demanding dramatic roles that earn upbeat notices, but has not been rewarded with an Oscar nomination since his Supporting Actor nod opposite Heath Ledger for Ang Lee s tragic gay romance Brokeback Mountain.

Like Matthew McConaughey, for the past few years he s let his own instincts and gut response to material and filmmakers dictate his choices. The results speak for themselves: a mix of studio and indie, from Duncan Jones time-travel thriller Source Code ($695 million worldwide) to David Ayer s End of Watch, a visceral LA-cop two-hander opposite Michael Pe a. And Gyllenhaal did his part for Weinstein Co. S workmanlike boxer movie Southpaw, directed by Antoine Fuqua ($57 million worldwide), and popped out of the ensemble as a jovial climber in Universal/Working Title s survival thriller Everest, directed by Baltasar Korm kur ($776.

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6 million worldwide). Many of his movies may have been too uncomfortably edgy or not mainstream enough for the Academy actors branch Gyllenhaal started young and has been gaining gravitas as he grows. S remake of The Untouchables ) and Sally Hawkins in two roles: an arthritic primitive painter in Maudie (Sony Pictures Classics) and a mute lab worker in Guillermo del Toro s romantic fantasy fable The Shape of Water (Fox Searchlight). For the full list of 59 actors who have been nominated in roles that centered on physical or emotional afflictions, click here.

Every feature on the Oscar shortlist except Victoria Abdul has been included in this year's MUAH. It's sci-fi spectacles vs. Character work in this year's VFX Oscar race, which will be whittled down. Bong Joon-ho's camera movement is musical and precise, so how did he get in sync with action driven. Other films such as Baby Driver and I, Tonya also earned nominations for best edited feature of.

Editor Nick Houy breaks down three scenes from the buzzy Sacramento Oscar contender. Get the latest IndieWire alerts and newsletters delivered directly to your inboxScreen Talk, episode 685: A series of nominations for producers, editors, writers and art directors this past week helped bring some clarity to the Oscar race as the voting deadline looms. Ep. 98:

“I remember when I was in college, writing pretty strange plays, that the best feeling I ever had was when I stood in the back of the theater and actors were performing something I had written.

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