Brilliant film adaptation of Boy Erased by Joel Edgerton



Jared Eamons (Lucas Hedges), and Henry (Joe Alwyn). Two actors who experience mutual attraction for each other that later lead to sexual abuse.

Libni Galicia, News Editor

Based on the memoir by Garrard Conley, ‘Boy erased’ is an emotional true story of a boy named Jared Eamons (Lucas Hedges), a son of Baptist Pastors Marshall and Nancy Eamons (Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman), who experiences the challenges of the fall out after telling his parents he’s gay. Director, actor and screenplay writer Joel Edgerton is phenomenal in capturing the emotions of a boy who visited a religious “conversion therapy” program.

Without going any further, Lucas Hedges was an outstanding actor throughout this film which was definitely one of the most important reason why it has been such a successful movie. Nearly 6 Million dollars in box office sales after a little over four weeks from release date according to Box Office Mojo and great audience responses all around. One of my favorite reviews was from Buzzfeed that said:

“A brave, powerful meditation on identity and faith, Boy Erased is the story of one man’s journey to accepting himself and overcoming shame and trauma in the midst of deep-rooted bigotry.” —Buzzfeed (Buzzfeed’s Hot Summer Reads)

Edgarton plays Victor Sykes, the leader of Eamons group conversion therapy program. During Eamons’ visits, Sykes leads them all to believe that he, and all the people who were there, were homosexual because of the sins that existed within their family tree. The therapy patients were taught how to look the part and to be aware of their appearance so that they could “fake it till you make it.” Boys were coached to “stand like a man”, with a wide stance, their chest out and weren’t allowed to cross their legs. Both Crowe and Kidman were equally impressive actors in the film as anyone can imagine. In the film, Mrs. Eamons initially accepts the decision that her husband makes to send their son off to the conversion therapy program. Under his dad’s and his dad’s counsel (two elder pastors of the church) direction, Jared needed to abide by a few conditions. He was no longer allowed to attend church with his family and he had to lodge at a hotel  while he’s undergoing “treatment.” Once her son’s therapy began, his mother began to notice the weird behaviour that her her son embodied and after finally and learning about what her son was learning Mrs. Eamons felt uneasy about the situation and decides she’s not ok with it. On the other side, his father feels no empathy for the feelings of his son and tells him to really try to be “cured” and to give it a chance. The screenplay was accurate in depicting how a victim of sexual abuse would cope with the trama. Every scene was touching and realistic.

Edgerton was strategic in the approach to his film considering the fact that within 2018 this isn’t the first film that dives into the topic of LGBTQ and abuse. The other book to movie adaptation that also touched on homosexuality is ‘The Miseducation of Cameron Post’ written originally as a novel by Emily M. Danforth that reached 1.4 Million in the box offices.

Edgerton did not in any way make fun of, or put down those who still believe that homosexuality is a choice. He rather actually poked at those faith driven individuals and shares a moving point of view in hopes that maybe they can change their viewpoints. Both the directing and the screenplay combined, were able to jump in and out of the mind of a boy who is confused about his sexuality, who experiences abuse and who tries to not be an outcast by his own family. This list of movie qualities bring together an understanding of the suffering that many people have had to, and to this day still endure.

Edgerton created a film that encourages acceptance and love between families who find it difficult to accept homosexuality. This film successfully represents teenage Jared Emonds’ homoserotic encounters and shows both the reaction of a victim of rape and the innocence of a young homosexual boy. This film has the power to touch hearts and change minds for three huge reasons. Firstly, a brave soul named Garrard Conley, had  enough courage to allow strangers into his life and shared his story. Secondly, Joel Edgerton got his hands on that memoir and created a remarkable visual interpretation that then thirdly was executed by incredible actors who staged the story perfectly. An absolute must watch.