THE TRUTH CANNOT BE CONVERTED.
An adaptation of Garrard Conley’s memoir that changes names and circumstances for dramatic purposes, but retains the book’s invaluable peek inside the gay-conversion therapy movement that can easily be labeled child abuse. We follow an 18-year-old in Arkansas who realizes that he might be gay, wants to change and subjects himself to an authoritarian ”therapist”. Joel Edgerton deftly weaves flashbacks into the story illustrating the teen’s first gay encounter and his relationship with his deeply religious parents. A compelling drama boosted by Lucas Hedges and Nicole Kidman’s performances as the boy and the pastor’s wife who see through the hatred of the cult-like movement.
2018-U.S. 114 min. Color. Produced by Joel Edgerton, Steve Golin, Kerry Kohansky-Roberts. Written and directed by Joel Edgerton. Book: Garrard Conley. Cast: Lucas Hedges (Jared Eamons), Nicole Kidman (Nancy Eamons), Russell Crowe (Marshall Eamons), Joel Edgerton, Joe Alwyn, Xavier Dolan… Flea.
Trivia: Viggo Mortensen was allegedly considered for Crowe’s part.
Last word: “It’s interesting to see something like ‘Love, Simon’ and ‘Call Me by Your Name’, which deal with more positive role models for young LGBTQ folk and more positive coming-out stories. At the same time, there’s also a necessity to acknowledge the unhappy stories. Someone responded to our film and ‘Cameron Post’ by essentially saying, ‘Enough with the negative coming-out stories. Aren’t we over this already?’ I understand that, but at the same time we aren’t over this. Because gay conversion therapy camps are still open for business and until they’re closed, I think it’s worth telling these stories.” (Edgerton, Slant)