Joel Edgerton’s directorial debut “The Gift” was an effective psychological thriller, but the 44-year-old actor-director is moving from genre filmmaking to Oscar-baiting drama with the upcoming release of “Boy Erased.” The movie is based on the memoir of the same name Garrard Conley. The film features an impressive cast, including Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, and Xavier Dolan.
The official synopsis from Focus Features reads: “‘Boy Erased’ tells the story of Jared (Hedges), the son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town, who is outed to his parents (Kidman and Crowe) at age 19. Jared is faced with an ultimatum: attend a conversion therapy program – or be permanently exiled and shunned by his family, friends, and faith.”
Edgerton stars in the film as the leader of the gay conversation therapy program. The film is the latest lead role for rising star Lucas Hedges, who has been at the center of recent best picture nominees such as “Manchester by the Sea,” “Lady Bird,” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” His supporting turn in “Manchester” earned him an Oscar nomination.
Focus Features has released the first trailer for writer/director Joel Edgerton’s upcoming drama Boy Erased. The film is based on Garrard Conley’s memoir of the same name which chronicles his experience as a gay teenager who is sent to a conversion therapy program when he’s outed to his religious parents. Manchester by the Sea and Lady Bird breakout Lucas Hedges fills the lead role, but the film also boasts a terrific ensemble cast that includes Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman as the boy’s parents and filmmaker/actor Xavier Dolan.
This movie looks fantastic. Edgerton showed major directing chops with his underrated thriller The Gift, and he looks to be taking a huge step up here with this intensely dramatic and emotionally charged material. The performances are excellent as well, and there’s no doubt this will be a major player on the awards circuit to come.