Based on a true story, this powerful film is about a young man named Jared (Lucas Hedges) who is outed as gay to his father Marshall (Russell Crowe), a Baptist preacher, and his subservient wife Nancy (Nicole Kidman). Unsure how to handle the situation, Jared’s parents agree to send him to gay conversion therapy only to discover life is more complicated than anyone had hoped.
ScreenwritingU sat down with Australian filmmaker Joel Edgerton to get his take on this emotional story. He writes and directs this film based on the memoir of Garrad Conley. In his early 20s, Conley personally experienced abuse at the hands of Love in Action, the fundamental Christian program for gays. Edgerton himself plays Victor Sykes, lead counselor at the gay conversion ministry who’s clearly in over his head.
What’s impressive about this film is that all the characters are presented without judgment, only as the imperfect human beings we all are. Sometimes, however, it takes a mother’s compass to right the ship even if the father struggles to get on board.
Boy Erased is currently in theaters.