Nicole Kidman Weekend – Boy Erased (2018) Movie Review

Director: Joel Edgerton

Writer: Joel Edgerton (Screenplay) Garrard Conley (Memoir)

Starring: Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Madelyn Cline, Victor McCay, David Joseph Craig

Plot: The son of a Baptist preacher is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program after being forcibly outed to his parents.

Tagline – The Truth Cannot Be Converted

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Stunningly Acted

Story: Boy Erased starts as Jared Eamons (Hedges) checks into the church-supported gay conversion program, the son a preacher Marshall (Crowe) and with his mother’s Nancy (Kidman) support, he starts to be taught about what could have caused him to be gay. We flashback to his high school life with his cheerleader girlfriend Chloe (Cline).

As Jared continues his therapy under Victor Sykes (Edgerton) he starts to question whether this is the right thing or not, with the whole class being disguised as an idea being homosexual is a sin and a choice, one God wouldn’t support. Will Jared make the conversation or accept that what is being forced on him is correct.

Thoughts on Boy Erased

Characters – Jared is a teenage boy just starting college where he gets outed which forces his parents to send him to a gay-conversation program. He looks back on his life where he struggled through high school with his own sexuality and tries to understand how the program is going to help him, learning that despite the lack of support in his life, it isn’t about choice, which he was led to believe. Jared shows us as a character based on the author of the book, that at that age, anyone going through the same situation where they don’t know how to tell people or whether parents would approve would become secretive and defensive when questioned. Victor Sykes runs the conversation program, he keeps drumming it into the group that it is a choice and God isn’t going to support them if they chose to be homosexual. Nancy is the mother of Jared, she thinks it is best for him to attend the program and does think that it would be right to go, though she will support him more than his father does. Marshall is the preacher father of Jared, he pushes him into the program demanding he be fix, never wanting to support this version of his own son, seeing it as some sort of embarrassment.

PerformancesLucas Hedges gives one of the best performances of the year, showing us just how difficult life has become, we see how he feel guilty for his sexuality, before showing how his character doesn’t care what people think. Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman and Joel Edgerton all give wonderful supporting performance showing us just how their characters believe in their actions.

StoryThe story here follows a teenager who is sent to a gay-conversation program to fix the problems his family believe he has, here he learns that despite being told one thing, he doesn’t need to make a choice for who he is. This is a story based on the book by the real Garrard Conley who went through this experience, we do see how ignorant religious people are towards the LGBT community because they can’t accept and to show how the conversation programs still being used in this day and age is beyond baffling. Seeing how the program operates can be hard to watch at times, but it is there to show just how backwards thinking they are. We do have the family dynamic too which wants to support, but believe they are right.

BiopicThe biopic side of the film does show just how difficult this time of Jared’s life was, not just him discovering himself, but how people around him tried to change him.

SettingsThe film uses the settings well, with the conversation program acting like a prison at times, even being next to everyday locations.

Scene of the Movie – Leaving.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Mainly that these programs are still real.

Final Thoughts This is a powerful eye-opener for people that proves that his horrible ideas still happen in our world when they shouldn’t with some of the best performance of the year.

Overall: Powerfully Acted, Storytelling and Important

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – U – UFO (2018) Movie Review

Director: Ryan Eslinger

Writer: Ryan Eslinger (Screenplay)

Starring: Alex Sharp, Gillian Anderson, Ella Purnell, Benjamin Beatty, Cece Abbey, David Strathairn

Plot: A college student, who sees a UFO, uses his exceptional math skills to investigate the sighting with his friends while the FBI follows closely behind.

Tagline – Sightings are never a coincidence. The cover-up ends here.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Deep Mystery

Story: UFO starts when a UFO sighting happens over an airport, the FBI look to get control of the situation with Franklin Ahls (Strathairn) leads the covering up process, which is going well until student Derek (Sharp) starts looking into the maths behind the sighting, trying to understand what it might have been and the size of it.

The more Derek dives into the study, the more attention he gathers from the FBI, putting his own life on the line, his studies under the brilliant Professor Hendricks (Anderson) and his lab partner Natalie (Purnell), all to uncover the truth.

Thoughts on UFO

Characters – Derek is a brilliant math student, he can always put together problems, always looking for something outside of the logic, which sees him challenge his professor, he gets caught up in wanting to study a UFO sighting, which he believes does have a deeper meaning, only he will see himself being put under pressure by the FBI. Professor Hendricks is the strict teacher of Derek’s she doesn’t take any arguments from her students but does believe they are ready for greatness, with Derek being one of her very best. Natalie is the lab partner of Derek’s she starts to be left feeling distant and doesn’t want to ruin her own chances of success. Franklin Ahls is running the FBI task force to cover up the event, he doesn’t need it spreading but will listen to theories about the truth.

PerformancesAlex Sharp is great as the student who will push the limits of his greatness, he shows how obsession can take over somebody’s life. Gillian Anderson makes for a great choice for the professor role, with Ella Purnell struggling to make an impact with her character showing the distance Derek is creating between his friends. David Strathairn is always going to be somebody who could be a military or government professional with ease.

StoryThe story here follows the aftermath of a UFO sighting, which sees a brilliant maths student put his studies on hold to try and uncover the mystery behind the signal that has been left from the visit, while the FBI are trying to cover everything up. This is a UFO based story unlike anything you have seen before, it looks more into the science behind everything that has come from the message we set into space and how if we got a reply, what might happen. We do have a lot of mathematical talk, which will go over plenty of people’s heads along with the astrophysics behind it all. It is nice not to have the biggest creation of a villain, a story that people are working towards the same thing.

Mystery/Sci-FiThe mystery in this film comes from the message in a signal, which shows us how the sci-fi side of the film coming from the idea that we might have got a message back from the message we sent into space.

SettingsThe film does take place in Cincinnati, it shows the airport where the first incident happens and the university that Derek attends, it is all about creating an environment to study about the truth.

Scene of the Movie – The meeting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too much technical talk.

Final Thoughts This is a sci-fi film that is trying to be very deep, which is achieves, though it does get too complicated for its own good at times.

Overall: Deep Sci-Fi Film.