Nicole Kidman On Redemption In ‘Destroyer’ & ‘Boy Erased’; The “Awesome Women” In Upcoming Roger Ailes Film

Read on: Deadline.

Nicole Kidman is barefoot in a floor-length gown, ice-blue like her eyes. When she curls into a corner of the sofa, she looks relaxed and regal, a woman whose earned the right to stretch after a frantically busy fall. At this moment, her blockbuster Aq…

Lucas Hedges Owns Awards Buzz With ‘Boy Erased’, ‘Ben Is Back’ & ‘Mid90s’

Read on: Deadline.

With each passing year, Lucas Hedges multiplies his awards season filmography. First there was Manchester by the Sea, for which he was Oscar nominated. Then, last year, much-garlanded turns in Lady Bird and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Th…

‘Boy Erased’ & ‘On The Basis Of Sex’ Champion Those Who Fight For Change — The Contenders LA

Read on: Deadline.

This awards season—to quote Sam Cooke—a change is gonna come, courtesy of Focus Features. Today at Deadline’s The Contenders Los Angeles, the distributor presented two of its timely contenders in Boy Erased (bowing in theaters yesterd…

Box Office: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ to Break Free With $46 Million Debut

Read on: Variety.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” is heading for a rhapsodic debut from 4,000 North American locations with an estimated $46 million. The Fox biopic starring Rami Malek as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury earned $18.4 million Friday. Bryan Singer directed …

‘Boy Erased’ Author Garrard Conley Talks Joel Edgerton’s Openness To Tell His Story; Need For Diverse LGBTQ Narratives

Read on: Deadline.

Author Garrard Conley ruminated and waited nearly a decade to write his memoir Boy Erased, which chronicled the details of his experiences in gay conversion therapy. Now, his story is the basis of a Focus Feature feature film directed and written by Jo…

Gay Conversion Therapy Survivors Describe Horrors: Get First Listen of ‘Boy Erased’-Inspired Podcast (Exclusive)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Gay conversion therapy survivors describe how participants were told to change their behavior in this exclusive first listen of “UnErased: The History of Conversion Therapy in America,” an upcoming podcast series co-created by the filmmakers behind the upcoming film “Boy Erased,” starring Nicole Kidman and Lucas Hedges.

“Boy Erased” is based on the true story of a son of a Baptist pastor (Lucas Hedges) in a small American town who is outed to his parents (Nicole Kidman and Joel Edgerton) and must either go to conversion therapy or be shunned by his family.

In a four-part podcast series, debuting Friday Nov. 2, “UnErased” tells the various stories of survivors and those who have long criticized such therapy.

“Boy Erased” tells a deeply personal story; “UnErased” tells the whole story. Combining one of the most comprehensive conversion therapy histories to date, survivors’ accounts, and exclusive interviews, “‘UnErased’ picks up where the memoir and film leave off,” said “Boy Erased” memoir author Garrard Conley and “Boy Erased” actor David Joseph Craig in a joint statement.

Also Read: ‘Boy Erased’ Film Review: Gay Conversion Drama Has Powerful Moments But Also Rote Ones

The “UnErased” team worked with The Mattachine Society, an LGBTQIA historical archive and a collector of conversion therapy source material, bringing once unheard recordings and documents from key conversion therapy groups. Those recordings hold revealing information about what conversion therapy leaders made patients do, including extensive behavior adjustment exercises, like teaching them how to look at their nails and to not cross their legs.

“It’s our hope that fans of the film, Garrard’s memoir and the podcast series will immerse themselves in all of these different works so they can have a richer understanding of the context of Garrard’s story. It’s a story that is shared by hundreds of thousands of others and goes on today,” said Limina House producer Mikel Ellcessor in a statement.

“UnErased” is a Limina House production and is a collaboration with Focus Features and Anonymous Content. Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad is the podcast’s host. The series is distributed by Stitcher.

Also Read: Joel Edgerton Explains Why Lucas Hedges Was Right to Play Gay Teen in ‘Boy Erased’ (Video)

Episode 1 of “UnErased” is available Friday Nov. 2 wherever you get your podcasts. “Boy Erased” premieres Friday, Nov. 2 and stars Kidman, Hedges, Edgerton, Russell Crowe, Joe Alwyn and Troye Sivan.

Listen to the exclusive clip here:

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‘Boy Erased’ Film Review: Gay Conversion Drama Has Powerful Moments But Also Rote Ones

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Boy Erased,” which is based on Garrard Conley’s 2016 memoir, is comprised of some strong scenes, some flashy scenes, and some scenes that are just scenes. It makes its argument against gay conversion therapy — a form of torture usually rooted in the self-loathing of the so-called therapist — persuasively. And it is dramatically impressive most of the time, but it is also very messy and uneven.

“Boy Erased” is packed with well-known performers, and this can be distracting. Pop star Troye Sivan and Canadian auteur Xavier Dolan play two of the inmates at a detention center called Love in Action, which is where our teenaged protagonist Jared (Lucas Hedges) is sent by his Baptist minister father (Russell Crowe) after he confesses to homosexual feelings. While Sivan and Dolan will likely bring some attention to this film from their respective fan bases, their presence on screen only emphasizes the public-service-message aspect of this production.

The best performance in the movie comes from Joel Edgerton, who also wrote the screenplay and directed “Boy Erased.” As the fearsome Victor Sykes, who runs Love in Action with an iron hand, the Australian Edgerton does a convincing Southern accent, and he makes his character into a frightening antagonist. Edgerton exactly captures the forced jocular humor of this sort of man and also the willfulness and the cruelty. Whenever Edgerton’s Sykes is on screen, it always feels as if something very bad could happen at any moment, and this well-intentioned movie needs that jolt of danger.

Watch Video: Lucas Hedges Struggles With Gay Conversion Therapy in ‘Boy Erased’ Trailer

Most of “Boy Erased” takes place at the Love in Action center, with some flashbacks to Jared’s past revealed at strategic points. Plenty of disturbing things happen at the center, yet the film’s most upsetting scene is the one where Jared’s desire for a fellow student leads to his rape and then a tearful plea from his rapist to both hear a religious confession and keep what happened secret. Edgerton films the attack in a punishing long take, and then he separates the two boys visually as Jared tries to process what has just happened to him and what is being asked of him afterward.

Hedges has a very difficult job here. He has to play a character who is basically passive and often beaten down in various ways, and there are several points in the narrative where a vise seems to be closing around Jared that he might have real difficulty escaping. Edgerton has filled the Love in Action center with formidable gatekeepers, particularly the mean-minded Michael (David Joseph Craig, “The Gift”), who purveys a very particular sort of iron-jawed Southern boy nastiness.

Watch Video: Joel Edgerton Explains Why Lucas Hedges Was Right to Play Gay Teen in ‘Boy Erased’

As depicted in the film, Love in Action is a place run by men who are clearly repressed themselves, and emotional annihilation is only one of the weapons they brandish at the kids who are in their power. There is a sickening scene where a boy named Cameron (Britton Sear) is beaten with a Bible by his own family members, one of whom appears to be his little sister, who shows a notable reluctance to hurt her older brother but is nonetheless forced to hit him.

In the early scenes of “Boy Erased,” Jared’s mother Nancy (Nicole Kidman) is shown waiting for him at a hotel and talking to him when he leaves the center for the day. At first it seems inevitable that Nancy will stick up for her son and get him out of there, but Edgerton tightens the screws just enough in the mid-section of the film that we begin to wonder how hard this might eventually be for her.

Also Read: ‘Boy Erased’ Star Theodore Pellerin Joins Netflix’s ‘The OA’ (Exclusive)

“Boy Erased” tends to hit every one of its dramatic beats very hard, but this is effective in the mid-section, because we begin to feel some dread that Jared might be stuck at this place for a year or more and have to forgo college, which is what Mr. Sykes recommends. There is a scene where the inmates hear a father telling off Sykes in the parking lot of the center and yelling at Sykes for “humiliating” his son, and this has power precisely because we never learn what Sykes did to the boy.

Nancy’s essential glamour comes naturally to Kidman, one of the few present-day actresses who can reliably conjure this quality, and the pay-off scene where Nancy stands up for her son is everything we might expect, but the two last scenes that Jared shares with his father don’t feel like life but like written points that need to be made. Nevertheless, what lingers in “Boy Erased” is the sense of malignancy at this conversion center, which Edgerton manages to create as both an actor and a director. This malignancy will hopefully be easier to identify and rectify because this movie exists.

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‘Boy Erased’ Trailer: Family Ties Tug Hardest At Heart Of Conversion-Therapy Drama

Read on: Deadline.

Ahead of its platform release Friday comes a new trailer for Focus Features’ Boy Erased, the drama written and directed by Joel Edgerton based on Garrard Conley’s memoir about coming out to his Southern Baptist parents who sent him to conve…

Joel Edgerton Explains Why Lucas Hedges Was Right to Play Gay Teen in ‘Boy Erased’ (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

In “Boy Erased,” “Lady Bird” actor Lucas Hedges plays a teenage son of a Baptist preacher who is sent to a church-run, gay-conversion therapy camp when he’s forced to come out to his parents.

Taking such a role opened Hedges, 21, up to questions about his own sexuality. And in a New York Magazine interview, Hedges explained that he’s “not totally straight.”

“I recognize myself as existing on that spectrum: Not totally straight, but also not gay and not necessarily bisexual,” Hedges said.

Also Read: ‘Boy Erased’ Film Review: Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe Shine in Gay Conversion Therapy Drama

But the director and co-star of “Boy Erased,” Joel Edgerton, applauded how his young star handled himself in that interview and explained why, despite having uncertainties about his sexuality, Hedges was still right to represent such a character on screen.

“I wanted representation to be part of that group. And with Lucas, there was an ‘I don’t know’ situation, and I’ve known him since he was a teenager, since he was very young,” Edgerton told TheWrap’s Matt Donnelly at TIFF 2018. “I’m very proud of how he handled that interview and how he’s been embraced for that, but it wasn’t really… he was the right guy, there was something in my sensation about knowing Lucas that just felt right.”

In addition to Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, the movie also stars Troye Sivan and Xavier Dolan, two young “out and proud” actors who Edgerton was proud to cast. But Garrard Conley, who wrote the memoir on which “Boy Erased” is based, also spoke with Hedges about some of the things that would eventually appear in the New York Magazine interview.

Also Read: Joel Edgerton Drama ‘Boy Erased’ Acquired by Focus Features

“I just knew he was the right person for this role,” Conley said. “Whenever we went to his apartment, he had my book marked up on every page.”

“He’s a very thorough, sensitive, well researched actor, who also is a really nice balance of head and heart and gut,” Edgerton said of Hedges. “He’s intuitive and yet doesn’t just assume to turn up and channel without research. I think really good actors do their homework and they also know how to fall off a cliff and land because they understand living in the moment.”

“Boy Erased” opens in theaters on November 2. Watch a clip from TheWrap’s TIFF interview above.

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Nicole Kidman On Dodging A Shooter For Karyn Kusama’s Gritty Cop Thriller ‘Destroyer’ – Toronto Studio

Read on: Deadline.

Nicole Kidman came to TIFF in two very different guises this year. Her small role as a feisty mother in Joel Edgerton’s Boy Erased inspired spontaneous applause at that film’s premiere on Tuesday, but it will be as jaded LAPD officer Erin Bell in Karyn…