Verdict: Lucas Hedges is the soul of this socially powerful drama.
Based on the memoir by Garrard Conley and directed by Joel Edgerton, Boy Erased deals with conversion therapy. While LGBTQ rights have made great progress over the recent years, conversion programs that try to “save” kids from “sinful thoughts” still exist in the U.S. which makes this film quite relevant in this age.
What’s Boy Erased About:
Jared Eamons (Lucas Hedges) is the son of a pastor (Russell Crowe). After being outed as a homosexual to his family, he goes through a church-supported conversion program. Jared has to decide what he wants to do – whether to change who he is so that he may be accepted by his family once again or accept himself and risk losing those close to him.
The performances by the actors are the highlight of Boy Erased. This is a difficult story to tell and everyone has portrayed their characters well. Lucas Hedges carries the film on his shoulders. As we slowly get to know more about his character, the more you start to appreciate the nuances of his role. Even in his quietest moments, Hedges shows that there’s a lot more to Jared beneath the surface. Nicole Kidman plays Jared’s mother who is the only parent who tries to understand what he is going through and she gives one of her best performances in Boy Erased. Even Joel Edgerton who plays the head of the conversion program has given an excellent and compelling performance.
Everyone in the film is treated equally. The father who can’t deal with his son being gay is shown to have the same depth as the mother who just wants what’s best for her son. The actors who portray the boys and girls that Jared comes across during his program have also managed to show diverse sides of dealing with the same issue. Britton Sear, Troye Sivan, Xavier Dolan, and Jesse LaTourette have all given stunning performances. Troye Sivan is also behind the touching song that plays through the film.
What Could’ve Been Better:
The film moves slowly at times but it’s well worth the time it takes to tell the story.
Why You Should Watch:
Boy Erased is an important film that doesn’t shy away from difficult topics. It’s unflinchingly honest, which leaves a strong impression, especially considering that it’s based on real events involving conversion therapy. It will leave you with many things to think about and for that alone, it deserves a watch.