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  1. Published on: 17/03/2019 08:01 AMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: After being disowned by their parents, the son of a Baptist preacher is sent to a gay conversion program.

    We do occasionally have almost identical films get released by different studios in the same year. Like for example, I remember 1998 saw two end-of-the-world films get released at the same time in the form Armageddon and Deep Impact.

    I also recall two Snow White films coming out in 2012 in the form of Snow White And The Huntsman and Mirror Mirror.

    Now in 2018, we get the most random coincidence of the lot. That's right, we have the release of two films involving conversion therapy.
    This controversial practice seems to be associated more with America then anywhere else. I'm not aware of any in the UK. But I am aware that this is a big thing in certain regions of the United States.

    Earlier this year, there was The Miseducation Of Cameron Post which I felt to be a very good indie with strong and honest performances and having a profound feel to it throughout.

    With Boy Erased, this looks to be a more serious and impactful take on this topic and that is gunning for Oscar success. One notable giveaway is the casting of Lucas Hedges who seems to be the face of any Oscar contender. Recent examples include Manchester By The Sea, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri and Lady Bird.

    The execution of seeing a highly religious family slowly fall apart was very well executed. With the mix of seeing this particular conversion therapy camp, you get to hear many dramatic stories and minor characters have their moment. Some with more emotional results than others.

    I think director and actor Joel Edgerton has a done a great job and continues to show what a fine actor-turned-director he is becoming and that he is not afraid to do different genres. He did a great job with The Gift, and he has another top piece of work with Boy Erased.

    Lucas Hedges shows that he can carry a film as well as support with this very memorable performance. Nicole Kidman continues to showcase her A-level talent with a top support for Hedges' character and shone more and more as the film went on. Sadly, I felt Russell Crowe to be a bit wasted and I was unsure in the end as to the reasoning for his cast except to just up the calibre of the ensemble when it came to Oscar season.

    If I had to compare with Cameron Post, it's a tough call. I have many aspects favouring either film. But while I would rather watch Cameron Post again, I would give Boy Erased the edge. The performances are stronger, the tone and vibe of the film is more showy and portrays the world of conversion therapy to how I think many expect it to be.

    Rating: 8/10

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