Boy Erased [2018] ★★★

At a time when most movies playing at your local multiplex offer nothing but escapism, it’s good to encounter one that has something to say about modern society, and a solid cast to bring it to life. In adapting Garrard Conley’s 2016 memoir, writer-director Joel Edgerton takes a thought-provoking look at gay conversion facilities, and its impact on Jared Eamons (an excellent Lucas Hedges), a young man who was forced to attend the program by his conservative Christian parents (Nicole Kidman and Russel Crowe). That it manages to give us much food for thought without sounding too preachy is no small achievement. As someone who wasn’t very familiar with these facilities or how they operate, I was constantly intrigued, even when it was tough to watch at times. That’s also why the movie is so effective. The cast is terrific from top to bottom. And I can’t remember the last time I saw Russel Crowe in something completely different. You can view “Boy Erased” as a cautionary tale or simply get involved with all these characters and their imperfect lives. Either way, it’s well worth seeing.

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