Spectrum hosted an advanced screening of the film “Boy Erased” at the Angelika Theatre Monday night. The film, directed by Joel Edgerton, follows Arkansas teenager Jared Eamons’ journey through conversion therapy. It is based on Garrard Conley’s 2016 memoir of the same name.
Jared, played by “Manchester by the Sea” breakout star Lucas Hedges, is the son of a Baptist pastor who struggles to accept his son after finding out he is gay. This leads to Jared’s enrollment in Love in Action, a conversion program designed to remedy his homosexuality. It is Eamons’ mother, Nancy, who ultimately pulls her son from the program after realizing its flaws. Director Joel Edgerton defends his choice to make Eamons’ parents caring.
“I didn’t judge the parents and I didn’t judge the staff because I realized that they were actually doing what they were doing out of love. Given the information they had and the belief system that they lived within, they thought they were trying to help,” Edgerton said in an interview with NPR.
When the credits rolled the audience erupted into applause. In an ironic turn of events the final scroll revealed that Love in Action’s director (played by director Joel Edgerton) now resides in Texas with his husband.
So far, the film has 85 percent approval on Rotten Tomatoes.
“What seems clear is that “‘Boy Eased'” — far from disappearing — is one of those meticulously crafted films imbued with the kind of quiet power that can, and should, truly leave a mark,” Brian Lowry said in an article published by CNN Monday.