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Boy Erased (2018)

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The son of a Baptist preacher is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program after being forcibly outed to his parents.

Director:

Joel Edgerton

Writers:

Garrard Conley (based on the memoir Boy Erased by), Joel Edgerton (written for the screen by)
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Popularity
135 ( 44)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 6 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lucas Hedges ... Jared Eamons
Nicole Kidman ... Nancy Eamons
Russell Crowe ... Marshall Eamons
Madelyn Cline ... Chloe
Victor McCay ... Aaron
David Joseph Craig ... Michael
Troye Sivan ... Gary
Emily Hinkler ... Lee
Devin Michael ... Anders
Matt Burke ... Simon
Lindsey Moser ... Tina
Jesse LaTourette ... Sarah
Britton Sear ... Cameron
David Ditmore ... Phillip
William Ngo ... Carl
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Storyline

The son of a Baptist preacher is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program after being forcibly outed to his parents.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Truth Cannot Be Converted

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

for sexual content including an assault, some language and brief drug use. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Site

Country:

Australia | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 November 2018 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Boy Erased See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$207,057, 4 November 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,788,692

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,928,149, 6 January 2019
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Boy Erased (2018) is one of two 2018 movies about teenagers forced to undergo LGBT conversion therapy. The other is The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018). See more »

Quotes

Jared Eamons: I wish this never happened but sometimes I thank God that it did.
See more »


Soundtracks

Revelation
Written by Jon Thor Birgisson, Troye Sivan and Brett McLaughlin
Performed by Troye Sivan and Jon Thor Birgisson (as Jonsi)
Troye Sivan appears courtesy of EMI/Universal Music Australia Pty Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

 
what is wrong with people?
9 November 2018 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. It has taken two movies this year, THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST and this one from writer-director-producer-actor Joel Edgerton, and I finally understand that the practice of conversion therapy (treatment designed to change a person's orientation to heterosexual from something else) is real ... and it's widespread ... and it's cruel ... and it's absurd. I'll readily admit that my little life bubble has previously protected me from knowing much about the world of conversion.

Lucas Hedges has quickly developed into a dependable dramatic actor with his moving performances in such films as MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, LADY BIRD, and MID90S. Here he stars as Jared Eamons, a college aged young man struggling with the inner turmoil that accompanies being a gay man raised by a Pastor-dad in the heart of the Bible belt. Since the film is based on the memoir of Garrard Conley, we can assume much of what we see and hear has been seen and heard by Mr. Conley in his life.

Jared's parents are played by Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe, and while the parental actions of their characters may confound us, both deliver strong performances. One especially impactful scene allows Ms. Kidman to show what sets her apart ... it occurs in her scene at a table with Hedges when momma finally takes control. Director Edgerton appears as Victor Sykes, the director and "therapist" at Love In Action, the refuge program where Jared's parents send him.

Over the opening credits we get childhood clips showing Jared was a "normal" little boy being raised in a loving household. Flash forward to his awkward date with a girlfriend who asks him "what's wrong?". Later, after being sexually assaulted by a college buddy, Jared comes out to his parents. His time in Sykes' program is filled with unimaginable steps. A Genogram is to be completed, listing all of the personal problems and "dangerous" traits of relatives on the family tree - the point is to isolate the source of sin. One boy is beaten with bibles by his family in an effort to drive out the demons of homosexuality (nope, that's not a joke). There is also a macho counselor (played by Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers) who gives inspiring manly talks and teaches how to look, act, and stand like a real man. It's all so pathetic and tragic.

Rather than focus on Jared and the others in the program, much of the time is spent with his parents and why/how they could make the decision to enter him into conversion therapy. Jared's dad tells him he won't be loved by God ... a message also delivered by Sykes. When Jared's mom (Kidman) states "our family is so normal", we aren't sure whether she believes it, or wishes it so - although she leaves no doubt how she pictures a normal family. Of course, it's really Jared's dad (Crowe) who takes the news as a personal affront to his manhood and religious beliefs ... beliefs somehow more important than his own son.

Support work is provided by Joe Alwyn, Cherry Jones (as a doctor, and the only reasonable adult), Frank Hoyt Taylor, Britton Sear, and Jess LeTourette. Filmmaker Xavier Dolan (MOMMY, 2014) also has a role as Jon, one of those in the program. The music is provided by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurrianns, and for the most part, director Edgerton stays consistent with his focus on characters - though his frequent use of slo-motion loses impact with each successive use. The film avoids any cheap sentimentality or emotional gut-punches, instead focusing on the daily dealings. Perhaps it's meant to appeal to parents in this situation - those parents who are confused and misguided. We see this film more than we feel it, although I often found myself looking at these parents and asking, 'what's wrong with these people?' When the film ends by telling us 36 states allow for conversion therapy, we quickly realize Jared's parents may be more 'normal' than we thought (incredible as it seems).


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