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Boy Erased (Joel Edgerton, 2018) wr. Joel Edgerton, prod. Steve Golin, Kerry Kohansky-Roberts, Joel Edgerton; Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Joel Edgerton, Russell Crowe; gay conversion; released 2Nov18
Synopsis: Jared, the son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town, is outed to his parents and faced with an ultimatum: attend a gay conversion therapy program – or be permanently exiled and shunned by his family, friends and faith. Boy Erased is the true story of one young man’s struggle to find himself while being forced to question every aspect of his identity.
Variety's 'review' is written by a gay man (Peter Debruge) who discloses that at the end tho not at the start (which he perhaps should, as it influences his whole article). He has, however, disclosed so much about that not only do I not want to see it, I don't need to see it, as he's SPOILT it. Here's how he begins.
Who benefits from gay conversion therapy? Do the parents, who send their queer and questioning kids to be 'cured' of their same-sex attractions? Do the young people who are brainwashed into denying the urges they believe to be sinful? Does God? The answer, at least according to Joel Edgerton’s earnestly anti-heteronormative drama Boy Erased, appears to be that only the charlatans who run such camps seem to thrive, while everyone else winds up hating themselves.
I watched a fair bit of it anyway, and it was worse than I expected. Joel Edgerton is full of it, and Kidman shows again how overpaid she is for poor work. And Rusty is fat, so he looks like the one who is profoundly anxious about something in himself, rather than the juve lead (who is supposed to). Lucas Hedges was billed as some kind of next big thing, but he's just an ordinary looking dude whose expression hardly ever changes.
Plus there's something wrong with the editing which I haven't got time to figure out. The narrative did not flow logically. I never had a sense of where the thing was going, where its emotional centre was. It might be because the writer-director thought that he was also the star, and everything is skewed towards his uninteresting character.
Garry Gillard | New: 21 March, 2019 | Now: 8 January, 2020