Boy Erased explores the interface between religious belief and sexual orientation in the inhumane practice of conversation therapy directly and unflinchingly.
The film offers solid performances from an extremely talented cast, with beautifully emotive scenes between Hedges and Kidman. The problems for Boy Erased come from a narrative that often feels rushed and one dimensional. Scenes of Garrard’s journey in exploring his sexuality are often hollow, with one in extremely integral scene feeling clumsy and conflicted in delivery. While clearly and confidently dealing with the emotional abuse of conversation therapy, Boy Erased never quite delivers the emotional attachment to its characters the subject matter deserves.
Unlike Cameron Post in 2017 it struggles to define its core message through the development of its characters, and leaves a slightly bitter taste in allowing religion off the hook in the damage created to young lives. Boy Erased is a solid film with a strong message, but one that could have achieved so much more.