ON SCREEN · FILM
Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe star as devout but well-meaning parents who enroll their son in a gay conversion therapy camp.
“A richly humanistic, emotionally searing drama that sticks in the memory.” —Hollywood Reporter
Jared (Lucas Hedges), following the script of a well-adjusted teen, lives in Arkansas with his doting mother Nancy (Nicole Kidman) and proud father Marshall (Russell Crowe), a Baptist preacher. After a traumatic encounter, Jared is forced out of the closet to the shock of his conservative parents. Believing they are doing right by their son, Nancy and Marshall send Jared to Love in Action, a conversion therapy camp run by Victor Sykes (Joel Edgerton, who also directs) and a group of men who appear to have willed themselves to overcome their own homosexuality.
Scared, confused, and questioning his identity, Jared is desperate to remain “normal” and “fix” himself. But the abusive, homophobic camp environment leads Jared to question whether there is anything within him to correct, and the experience may push his relationship with his parents to a devastating breaking point. Adapting the memoir of conversion camp survivor-turned-activist Garrard Conley, Joel Edgerton offers a delicate and poignant depiction of a life in transition. Handled with precision and compassion, and bolstered by powerful performances from an ensemble cast, Edgerton’s direction provokes a powerful resonance as he weaves through complex material in search of what it means to be human.
D: Joel Edgerton, US, 2018, 2h
Programmed in conjunction with the 2019 MLK Celebration.