Boy Erased (U.S. Centerpiece)
Dir. Joel Edgerton, USA, 2018, 114 mins
Set in the uber-conservative suburbs of Arkansas, this grippingly vital drama stars Academy Award-nominee Lucas Hedges (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, LADYBIRD) as a young gay man sent to Refuge, a church-run conversion therapy program that aims to “cure” homosexuality, upon the insistence of his Baptist preacher father (Academy Award-winner Russell Crowe) and religious yet conflicted mother (Academy Award-winner Nicole Kidman). Based on the memoir by Garrard Conley and adapted for the screen by director and featured actor Joel Edgerton, this urgent drama stirs a challenging yet compassionate portrait of a family—and perhaps country—at odds with its differing ideas of empathy and identity.
In addition to powerhouse performances by Hedges, Kidman, and Crowe, the ensemble includes stellar supporting turns from multitalented queer artists Troye Sivan, Xavier Dolan, and Cherry Jones. BOY ERASED is at once an evocative coming of age story about finding your voice, and a compelling tale of personal survival and family reconciliation in the face of ignorance.
Writer: Joel Edgerton, Garrard Conley (based on the memoir Boy Erased by)
Cast: Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Joel Edgerton, Cherry Jones, Flea, Xavier Dolan, Troye Sivan, Joe Alwyn
Extended introduction with writer/director/star Joel Edgerton