This film is vital in the shame and expression of sexual identity. Jared Eamons (Lucas Hedges) is sent to a gay conversion program after a phone call from a life-altering experience occurs.
Lucas Hedges gives an astounding performance. Troye Sivan, who identifies as a gay man in real life, delivers a stirring performance as Gary, one of the attendees of the program. Joe Alwyn is strong as Henry, the first person Jared discovers his sexuality with. There is a dominance in the performance Joe delivers as well. Joel Edgerton is wickedly creepy and commanding as Victor Sykes, the leader of the program. Nicole Kidman, big hair and Southern accent in all, brings the gravity and sincerity of Nancy Eamons, Jared’s mother. Russell Crowe is a great opposite in demeanor to Nancy as Marshall Eamons, Jared’s father. Emily Hinkler is wonderful as Lee. Xavier Dolan, David Joseph Craig and Flea lead a strong supporting cast. The ensemble is also attributed to Casting Director Carmen Cuba.
Writer & Director Joel Edgerton adapts the memoir by Garrard Conley. The astonishing part of the film is the pure hypocrisy and lies spewed throughout, at least to audiences who have empathy for understanding the plight these young men and women who are coming into their identity endure. The close-ups and sweeping pace of the camera add an element to the film. Embodying Southern life, whether through the trees and wide open spaces, further details the environment these characters inhabit and shape their views. Music by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans created a score heightening scenes against many that are quiet.