Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman play Marshall and Nancy Eamons, the parents of a teenage son who displays little of the rebellion of his age, and instead an earnestness and devotion to them and their faith tradition that classifies homosexuality a sinful choice. The kitchen coming-out speech from a skilled and reserved Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea) in his role as Jared is short and features an apology. He willingly complies with his parents’ plan to “help him” at a counseling center, then he’s horrified and demoralized by what happens there. Is his only choice really between losing God and losing himself?
The script for Boy Erased is based on the 2016 memoir of the same title by Garrad Conley, and it’s laced with the kind of insider knowledge that comes from lived experience—one that not everyone sent to so-called gay conversion therapy actually lives through. The characters have been renamed, but photos just before the credits reaffirm that they’re modeled on Conley and his real family.
+ Important story courageously told
– Some somewhat shallow characters
Directed by Joel Edgerton
With Kidman, Crowe and Hedges
Violet Crown, R, 115 min.