The Reel Review
When Jared, the teenage son of a Baptist minister in Arkansas, is outed as gay, his ultra-religious parents ship him off to a controversial, church-supported gay conversion camp. Once there, he begins a journey of emotional torture, and ultimately (and ironically), self discovery.
In his adaptation of Garrard Conley’s memoir, director Joel Edgerton (Loving, It Comes At Night), who also stars as the infuriatingly manipulative leader of the abusive camp, crafts a subtle, thought-provoking and emotionally-compelling screenplay, with powerhouse performances from Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges (Manchester By The Sea) as the emotionally-conflicted son, and Oscar winners Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman as the rigid, unsupportive father, and the wife and mother who is torn between her husband’s inflexibility over their religious beliefs and concern for her son’s emotional well-being. This important film, along with the beautiful song, “Revelation” by singer Troye Sivan, who also stars in the film, is outstanding.
• This is the first collaboration between longtime friends and fellow Aussies Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe
• 24 years ago Russell Crowe played the gay son of a much more tolerant father in the film The Sum of Us
• Currently only 14 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have banned so-called “conversion therapy” for minors