Tag: Joel Edgerton


Boy Erased

October 19th, 2018 — 5:21am

*****

Boy Erased – sp

Conversion Therapy is a pseudoscientific practice of trying to change an individual’s sexual orientation from homosexuality or bisexuality to heterosexuality using psychological or spiritual interventions. There are 14 states and the district of Columbia that have banned Conversion Therapy for minors. There are also scattered counties and communities throughout the country where there is no state ban which have made laws against this practice (see map). This essentially means that in most of the United States, parents can mandate their children to stay in such a program. Since the medical and psychiatric communities have clearly established that sexual identity and orientation (straight, gay or bisexual) is determined at birth, any attempts at re-orientation are doomed to fail and have the potential to create more conflict and emotional turmoil.

This movie is based on a memoir by Garrard Conley which told his story of being the son of a Baptist pastor who is outed by his parents and then forced to attend a church conversion program with the purpose of “curing his homosexuality”. The experience that he goes through in this program is quite gripping and heart wrenching. The audience not only suffers through seeing things through his eyes but also sees the torment that some of the other attendees are going through which includes one young woman.

The three lead actors are outstanding. Lucas Hedges plays the young man. Nicole Kidman is his mother and Russell Crowe (who appears to have put on considerable weight for this role) does an excellent job as the minister who is the boy’s father. The film is directed by Joel Edgerton, who was also the screenwriter and played the role of Victor Sykes, the harsh and heavy-handed leader of the oppressive conversion program. The conflicts, psychological pain, turmoil and anger of the young man were very clear. At the same time, we saw the loving feelings, misguided but good intentions, that the father had for his son. The father-son love for each other despite their major life conflicts was depicted quite well as was the mother’s love and ultimate insight into the situation.

At the conclusion of the film, we had the opportunity to meet with Kerry Roberts, one of the producers of the film who brought the book to her production company and who told us about how the real-life family followed the story of it being brought to life. It should be very interesting to see how this film plays in most of the Unites States and the reaction and places where such so called “treatment” is allowed and can impact the lives of many young people. (2018)

Comment » | 5 Stars, Drama, Uncategorized

The Great Gatsby

May 12th, 2013 — 6:18pm

The Great Gatsby****

The Great Gatsby-rm– When a film comes out with a hundred million dollar budget and is based on  one of the great novels of the 20th century, plus it has Leonardo DiCaprio (and also has a 3D version –which we didn’t see), there are too many expectations to live up to. Putting all this aside, there is a very intriguing storyline (thank you Mr. F. Scott Fitzgerald, as well as director and co screen writer Baz Luhrmann (who also directed  Moulin Rouge). Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio)  is offered to us as a combination  of an obsessed,  eternal optimist, somewhat unbalanced and a tragic figure. The object of this intriguing and complicated figure’s attention is another man’s wife and that is Daisey Buchanan (Carrie Mulligan). The other man is the truly very rich Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton) who has one of those thin mustaches which make a person look evil but he turns out to be much more multifaceted. Then there is Nick Carraway (Tobey Maquire), the guy through whose eyes we are seeing the story and in fact has written it all down at the behest of his psychiatrist (Can’t forget to mention the importance of a shrink.) Maguire’s perplexed and concerned facial expression contrasts with the the range and intensity which DiCaprio emotes throughout the film. So where did this big budget go? Aside from perhaps in DiCaprio’s and the other all star cast’s pockets, it paid for the  magnificent scenes of extravagant parties in the estates on the Hamptons in Long Island,  period costumes and  rich interiors, expensive  autos, realistic NYC skyline and bridges all of the 1920’s, all  perhaps a little overdone. Some of it must  have been CGI as there were probably hundreds if not 1000 artists listed in the credits. There was also a 3D version. One of us had the thought that this could have effectively been done as a much less expensive film noir version in black and white and still captured the drama and clever turnabouts in the plot. Interestingly, the music background was contemporary with lots of stuff by Jay Z rather than the jazz or flapper music of the 1920’s. In the end a lot of people are going to see this film, enjoy it and remember it. (2013)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Drama, Romance

The Waiting City

September 6th, 2010 — 8:56am

The Waiting City* * * *
The Waiting City
– sp – This is an unusual movie which combines the plight of an Australian couple trying to adopt a child with the enchantment of India. Fiona ( Radha Mitchell) is a high powered attorney who comes to India with her husband Ben ( Joel Edgerton ) a low powered musician who usually has his guitar nearby. They have come to Calcutta to pick up their adopted daughter and initially have to wait several days to make contact with her. They have their own issues between the two of them but are drawn to meet their daughter and also understand the prior short life that she has had. They meet Krishna ( Samrat Chakrabarti) who is on one hand the hotel worker who is serving them in his uncle’s hotel but on the other hand seems to be a symbol of the country of their new child. These are the ingredients, that pulls the viewer into a spiritual experience which goes beyond the plot of the story. Fiona and Bill undergo a transformation, which is easy to identify with. The characters appeared to have learned some important things about themselves and the viewers have had an insight into the marital relationship of this couple, the meaning of international adoption and the multifaceted nature of India. Screenwriter and director Claire McCarthy was drawn to India by her own travels there. The film that she has created is authentic, beautifully photographed with muted lighting in soft colors but penetrates below the skin of the country and the people in the story. (2010)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Drama, Romance

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