SON OF A PREACHER MAN
WITH the Victorian Government showing political leadership by proposing legislation to ban conversion therapy – a dangerous practice by largely religious groups to “pray the gay away” – this movie is a topical must-watch. Directed and written by Australian actor Joel Edgerton (above), it has catapulted the Aussie star into the Hollywood stratosphere. Adapted from the best-selling memoir by Garrard Conley, who exposed the heartbreaking experience of gay teens. Edgerton plays the God-fearing and bombastic therapist who leads Love In Action, a gay conversion therapy camp, where families send their sons and daughters to learn how to be straight. The superb Lucas Hedges plays a college student based on Conley, who is outed outrageously to his conservative parents – played by Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, both at their best in this remarkable and powerful film. Hedges is Jared Eamons, a pretty straight up kid – he doesn’t drink, smoke or do drugs and dates a beautiful girl, attends church and is a star athlete. But he has feelings for men, a dark secret he keeps from his Baptist preacher dad Marshall (Crowe) and hairdresser mum, Nancy. While the Oscar-winning stars in this won a large amount of the plaudits, Hedges is deserving of praise for his captivating performance – backing it up with the new release film, Ben Is Back, co-starring Julia Roberts, in cinemas now. A star to watch.