Boy Erased - 4.5 Stars
Powerful, emotional and uncomfortable to watch.
The son of a Baptist preacher is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program after being forcibly outed to his parents.
Australian actor/writer/director Joel Edgerton has created a masterpiece, which is timely given recent news out of Victoria. The script, based on a true story is very well crafted. The character development, dialogue and structure are excellent. It has a central character, but also demonstrates that this issue affects many, many more. Lucas Hedges gives another exceptionally nuanced performance and is a marvel to watch. Nicole Kidman’s accent is a little shaky, but is very strong as Hedge’s mother. Joel Edgerton (directing himself) is perfectly menacing as the leader of the conversion therapy camp. Troye Sivan gives a standout performance and Russell Crowe is quietly menacing.
The score and cinematography too are excellent and this is clearly a movie destined for awards season. My problem is that due to the subject matter and how well it’s written it becomes so difficult to watch, that I really wanted to leave the theatre. This film doesn’t hold back and is more powerful for that, however it certainly makes it a little less accessible.
Overall a moving film, which is challenging to endure.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of Universal Pictures