Everyone wants to belong — but what good is belonging if you can't be yourself? Starring Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges and Oscar winners Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe, actor Joel Edgerton's second feature as writer-director plunges us into the cloistered world of conversion therapy and tracks a young man's uphill journey from ostracization toward self-acceptance.
Jared (Hedges) belongs to a loving middle-class Arkansas family, with his mother, Nancy (Kidman), and Baptist minister father, Marshall (Crowe). Jared gets good grades, plays basketball, and is in a steady — but chaste — relationship with a girl from school. Everything in his life is going according to plan...until a college friend outs Jared as gay.
Surprised, but attempting to be supportive in their own way, Jared's parents send him to Refuge, a church-supported program predicated on the notion that homosexuality is an affliction, curable through confession. Overseen by Victor Sykes (Edgerton), the program's bullying and bigotry fosters an environment that is anything but a refuge.
Boy Erased, which is based on Garrard Conley's eponymous memoir, features uniformly superlative performances — including memorable supporting turns from Flea and Xavier Dolan — and asks what it means to reconcile one's upbringing with one's own self-respect and moral truths.
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