Lucas Hedges continues his rise as one of his generation’s best actors as a young gay man forced into conversion therapy by his Baptist parents (Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman) in this adaptation of Garrard Conley’s memoir. Hedges plays Jared (a character based on Conley), a college student who, after a horrible event on campus, reveals to his parents that he “thinks about men.” This sends his parents into a religious panic, and they send him to a facility where a shifty preacher/counselor (Joel Edgerton) tries to convince him that homosexuality is a sin and the wrong choice. Jared is forced to withstand all of the strains of psychological torture and gradually realizes that, despite his upbringing and the wishes of his parents, he’s gay and no amount of bullshit preaching is going to change that. Edgerton, who also directs, does a respectable job of keeping all characters in the film based in reality; the crazed preachers and misguided parents have depth to them and aren’t reduced to caricature. Kidman and Crowe are both very good, but the film’s main triumph belongs to Hedges, who continues to amaze. The movie packs a wallop, and that’s due in large part to what Hedges brings to Jared.

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