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  • Writer's pictureMax Markowitz

Boy Erased

"Sincere and Flawless"


77,000 people are currently being held in conversion therapy across America. Boy Erased is an honest true story about one of its survivors. In 2004, Garrard Conley was outed to his parents and spent several months attempting to cure his homosexuality. He is portrayed with cinematic gold by the extraordinary Lucas Hedges, who has officially made it as an actor. When actors care about a project so profoundly and so deeply, they just become what you witness on screen. Hedges has done that with everything his heart has to offer.

Nicole Kidman just embodies the role of Conley’s mother, as though she’s just tried on a dress that fits her perfectly. Her performance is one of the most complex I’ve seen this year. Kidman has always had a history of touching audiences and watching her in this film is like holding something very heavy and very fragile. You can’t move when doing that and you can’t move when watching her. She’s so sincere and so convincing and so delicate.

Joel Edgerton plays the head director of the conversion program. He is also the director of the film which is a huge achievement on his part, as this is not the first time he’s directed and I suspect not the last, as his commitment to everything he touches is always out in the open.

Russell Crowe’s transformative performance is flawless and as far as talent is concerned, quite frightening. He’s actually not an actor whose films I’ve seen a lot of, but I am left shaken and numb by what he’s pulled off here. You certainly don’t have to be a fan of his to appreciate his performance or how hard it must have been to achieve it. He is a hard worker. I am grateful he chose to dedicate his time in a project so important and sadly current.


The film’s exposure to conversion therapy is groundbreaking as you’d be surprised how many people consider it to be a thing of the past. Far from true. I’ve certainly learned a lot from this film about how homophobia is handled in our world today. On one hand, you can’t change people’s beliefs as more often than not, they’re so locked into them, no key you offer up will unlock that door their intolerance has slammed. On the other hand, if you expect nothing from people, you get nothing and using your voice will be the best, if not only choice you have.


While this was one of the most disturbing films of the year for me, it was also one of the most educating and in that sense, rewarding and I am sure this will be the case for many others.

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