Though Joel Edgerton’s latest directorial effort Boy Erased recounts the true story of a young man (Lucas Hedges) struggling through the dark practice of religiously backed gay conversion therapy, its new trailer highlights the uplifting love the teen finds along the way.
Adapted from Garrard Conley’s 2016 memoir of the same name, Boy Erased follows Jared (Hedges), a gay teen whose conservative parents (including his pastor father, played by Russell Crowe) check him into a treatment program aimed at altering his sexual orientation. With support from fellow attendees — particularly from a fellow attendee named Gary, played by Troye Sivan — Jared’s plight soon turns hopeful as his mother (Nicole Kidman) begins to question her motives in the first place.
“A mother knows when something isn’t right,” she says in the preview. Crowe’s character later adds: “With my beliefs, I may have set myself up to lose you, and I’ve had to ask myself if I’m ready for that.”
Edgerton previously told EW the film “satisfies the dramatic and salacious stuff that interested me, but it also had an emotional resonance to it that I felt didn’t just make it a dark and nihilistic story. Speaking on her character, Kidman added: “The way in which [Nancy] and her husband feel about putting [Jared] into conversion therapy, I wanted that to come from a place of a mother thinking it’s the right thing to do. Nothing that she did was vindictive, which is probably why they have such a strong relationship now.”
Boy Erased enters limited release this Friday. Watch the film’s new trailer above.