Boy Erased | Chicago Reader
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Boy Erased

Joel Edgerton writes, directs, and costars in this heart-tugging drama about an 18-year-old pastor’s son (Lucas Hedges) who undergoes "gay conversion therapy." After the protagonist's father (Russell Crowe) and mother (Nicole Kidman) learn about his sexual orientation, they impel their only child to enter a Christian treatment center in rural Arkansas, run by “recovered” gays who promise parents that they can cure their children of same-sex attraction via God’s grace. In reality, the unlicensed staff's tactics include emotional and physical abuse disguised as tough love, which Edgerton renders in horrific detail. Based on the 2016 memoir by Garrard Conley, the narrative hits some predictable beats while upending expectations in other ways, like shining an empathetic light on the young man’s parents without excusing their behavior. Kidman delivers a delicate and nuanced performance as usual, while Edgerton’s take on the manipulative head therapist is disturbingly accurate.

Credits

Director:

  • Joel Edgerton

Cast:

  • Lucas Hedges
  • Nicole Kidman
  • Joel Edgerton
  • Russell Crowe
  • Flea
  • Joe Alwyn
  • Xavier Dolan
  • Troye Sivan
  • Britton Sear
  • Jesse LaTourette
  • David Ditmore
  • Cherry Jones
  • Emily Hinkler
  • David Craig
  • Théodore Pellerin
  • Madelyn Cline

Writers:

  • Garrard Conley
  • Joel Edgerton

Producers:

  • Kerry Kohansky-Roberts
  • Steve Golin
  • Joel Edgerton
  • Rebecca Yeldham
  • Nash Edgerton
  • Kim Hodgert
  • Tony Lipp
  • Ann Ruark

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