“Lady Bird” star Lucas Hedges is caught between his religious faith and his authentic self in “Boy Erased,” a coming-of-age drama that follows a teen boy’s experience in a gay “conversion therapy” camp.
Audiences got a first look at “Boy Erased” with the release of the film’s first trailer Tuesday. Hedges, who nabbed an Oscar nomination for 2016′s “Manchester by the Sea,” plays Jared, who is being raised in a fundamentalist Christian family. When Jared’s parents (played by Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe) discover their son is gay, they pressure him into attending a reparative, or conversion, therapy program headed by Victor Sykes (Joel Edgerton, who also directed the film). If Lucas opts out of the program, his parents warn, he risks being ostracized by his family and friends.
And the film’s release couldn’t be more timely, as conversion therapy remains a hot-button topic in America’s political climate.
The widely discredited practice ― reported to include methods like electroshock therapy aimed at “curing” patients of same-sex attraction ― is now banned in at least 13 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. Still, a report in January estimated that 698,000 LGBTQ Americans between ages 18 and 59 have undergone conversion therapy.
Sivan, who plays a conversion therapy survivor, teamed up with Leland and Jónsi of the Iceland rock band Sigur Rós for a new song, “Revelation,” which appears on the “Boy Erased” soundtrack and can be heard in the trailer.
In a June interview with BBC, Conley praised “Boy Erased” for maintaining the tone of his book.
“I’ve seen the film a few times and it’s so true to the book. It’s not sensational at all,” Conley said. “I don’t feel it got the Hollywood treatment.”
“Boy Erased” is due in theaters in November.