Boy Erased

Please Note: This film is no longer showing at Railroad Square Cinema

“Tackling the topic of “conversion therapy” — in which queer youth are essentially shipped off to re-education camps in order to “pray the gay away” — is a complicated proposition for a filmmaker. It would be so easy to simply slip into a spiral of righteous anger at the abhorrent practice, which might deliver on-screen fire and fury, but little in the way of nuance or dramatic tension. Somehow, writer-director Joel Edgerton leaps over this hurdle with Boy Erased, an intimate tale that still infuriates, but never overwhelms. Based on Garrard Conley’s memoir of growing up as the gay son of a middle-America Baptist pastor, Boy Erased resonates exactly because it treats everyone as a human being, complex and impossible to reduce to binaries. Edgerton, who also plays the tightly wound chief of the conversion-therapy organization here, wrings devastating performances from his cast, including Lucas Hedges as Garrard, and Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman as his parents. The story may resolve itself a bit too neatly, but sometimes that’s just how life works – if you’re lucky. Stick around for the end credits, and be prepared to be reduced to tears” —Toronto Globe and Mail. R. 114 Min.