3 February 2019 | gradyharp
A very disturbing but very important film
BOY ERASED is a true memoir written by Gerrad Conley about his experiences with conversion therapy - that church oriented isolation of gay men and women intent on restoring them back from their sinful ways and Satan's influence. As adapted for the screen by Joel Edgerton (who also directs an plays a very prominent role of the man who is in charge of the conversion school), the film is intense and revelatory about a near cult-like 'business' of correcting the 'disease of homosexuality.'
As the synopsis states, This film tells the courageous story of Jared Eamons (Lucas Hedges), the son of a Baptist pastor Marshall Eamons (Russell Crowe) in a small American town, who must overcome the fallout of being outed to his parents - his mother Nancy Eamons (Nicole Kidman) is supportive of her husband's response. His parents struggle with reconciling their love for their son with their beliefs. Fearing a loss of family, friends, and community, Jared is pressured into attending a conversion therapy program. While there, Jared comes into conflict with its leader Victor Sykes (Joel Edgerton) and begins his journey to finding his own voice and accepting his true self.
The sessions in the therapy program dominate the film, with flashbacks of Jared in college and his rare gay acting out episodes with Henry (Joe Alwyn) and Xavier (Theodore Pellerin), misconstrued by invasive research by Sykes and his entourage. The fellow gay people are very well portrayed by Troye Sivan, Britton Sear, Emily Hinkler among others and one of the more realistic - about LGBTQ issues - characters, a Dr. Muldoon, is beautifully portrayed by Cherry Jones.
Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe and Joel Edgerton are all outstanding. The jolts of the film are many - including the facts about the characters as they are living now - and it is not an easy film to experience the truths about conversion therapy. But this is not only a fine film but also an important one for the public to learn about a process that still exists in some states.