“Boy Erased,” an affecting and empathetic drama about gay conversion therapy, is also the latest effort in Hollywood’s high-quality new genre: the Lucas Hedges movie. After giving a supporting boost to three fantastic films in the past two years – “Manchester by the Sea” (which earned him an Oscar nomination), “Lady Bird” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” – Hedges gets a showy lead role as a college kid in the Bible Belt forced to “change” his homosexuality or risk being exiled from family and friends. The 21-year-old actor holds his own in the emotional project (★★★½ out of four; rated R; in theaters Friday in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco; additional cities Nov. 9, opens nationwide Nov. 16) opposite a couple of heavyweights, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe. Just as deft in his work is writer/director/co-star Joel Edgerton, who’s crafted a touching look at the darker sides of evangelical belief and parental judgment. Based on Garrard Conley’s memoir, “Boy Erased” centers on the fundamental split that occurs when Jared Eamons (Hedges) comes out to his dad Marshall (Crowe), a Baptist pastor, and mom Nancy (Kidman). Floored by the news – and convening a late-night meeting of like-minded church leaders – Marshall forces his son to choose… Read full this story
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