Panorama | Special Presentations
"Fake it ’til you make it," is the philosophy (taken from AA) espoused at the gay conversion therapy centre where 19-year-old Jared (Lucas Hedges) is sent by his Baptist minister father (Russell Crowe) and god-fearing mom (Nicole Kidman). "You cannot be born a homosexual. It’s a choice," they tell him. But the only choice Jared can see is whether he should live a lie or lose the love of his family and friends.
Based on the memoir by Garrard Conley, this powerful, sensitive film is written and directed by Joel Edgerton (The Gift), who also appears as the head of the conversion program. Declining to caricature religious conservatives, Boy Erased makes it clear just how hard it is for everybody concerned when something as fundamental as religious beliefs come up against a person’s sexual identity.
Lucas Hedges (who can also be seen in Ben Is Back at this year’s VIFF) is the movie’s emotional lynchpin, and he’s ably supported by the outstanding supporting cast, which also includes Canada’s Xavier Dolan and South African born actor and singer Troye Sivan.