BOY ERASED Review and Giveaway “Let Your Light Shine”

BOY ERASED, from Focus Features, based on the memoir of Garrard Conley, is a thought-provoking, sometimes heartbreaking, exploration of Conley’s “coming out” and his family’s response and experiences afterward.  Continue reading for our BOY ERASED review. We’ve also partnered with Focus Features to giveaway TWO prize packs with a signed copy of Garrard Conley’s memoir and the soundtrack for the film – featuring original song contender “Revelation” by Troye Sivan.

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BOY ERASED is presented as a memoir of Jared Eamons (played by Lucas Hedges), the son of Marshall Eamons (played by Russell Crowe), the Baptist preacher of their small town. It starts with his mother, Nancy Eamons (played by Nicole Kidman) bringing him to “Love in Action” for therapy.  As he progresses through the therapy, we learn his backstory in flashbacks. Jared was a high school senior, with a girlfriend, a great relationship with his parents, and dreams of being a writer.  As a freshman in college, his attraction to a fellow student turned from friendship to flirtation.  It’s that relationship that leads to his coming out, not by his own words, but by his crush.  That revelation changed his world suddenly and his parents decide that he must go to “Love in Action” for religion-based conversion therapy.

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Theodore Pellerin stars as “Xavier” and Lucas Hedges stars as “Jared” in Joel Edgerton’s BOY ERASED, a Focus Features release. Credit: Focus Features

Jared agrees to the therapy, from a basis of family protection and confusion about his own feelings.  He accepts the precepts and rules of the process and facility and tries to navigate the therapy open-mindedly and without reservation.  The flashbacks that accompany the therapy exercises reveal more of Jared’s story and lead to Jared’s ultimate deciding for himself what is best.

Nicole Kidman plays the role of Nancy perfectly.  She is a sweet, strong Southern woman going through a conversion of her own.  Her story is just as important as Jared’s, following her transition from supportive wife and mother to supportive mother and wife.  She clearly has her son’s best interests at heart and is open-minded enough to realize through the course of the movie that what’s best for him may not be what she or her husband have always thought it would be.

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Nicole Kidman stars as “Nancy” and Lucas Hedges stars as “Jared” in Joel Edgerton’s BOY ERASED, a Focus Features release. Credit: Focus Features

BOY ERASED is one man’s story, but there are so many others going through similar experiences. Some of the experiences are universal to people, such as first sexual experiences and self-acceptance. Coming out, family acceptance, conversion therapy may not be universal experiences, but learning about what others are going through can help lead to greater understanding and compassion.

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Author Garrard Conley on the set of Joel Edgerton’s BOY ERASED, a Focus Features release. Credit: Focus Features

BOY ERASED is an important movie with an intriguing story, both sad and inspirational. It should be watched by parents, especially.  As family viewing, it’s best to limit it to older teens, because there are a couple of painful scenes that younger children probably won’t understand.  Parents would be advised to see it themselves before deciding whether or not their younger children should see it.

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About George Gensler

George Gensler is a copyrights specialist during the week and a runner on the weekends. She lives in New York City now, but has lived in five countries on three continents. She grew up traveling the world, but her official residence was in Southern California and every visit home included a trip to Disneyland. She has also visited every Disney Park around the world and sailed on board two Disney cruises. She threw in a visit to the Disney Family museum in San Francisco for good measure, and has had the Premier Disney Park Pass since its inception.