If you are tempted to see this movie on the big screen, bring a rope to tie yourself in your seat so that you will be prevented from running from the theatre long before the film concludes.
Even though this film stars Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Lucas Hedges and Joel Edgerton, who also directs, it could easily qualify as the worst movie of 2018. It is as sanctimonious as it is boring, so if you still hunt it down in the theatre, make sure it is one that serves ample amounts of alcohol.
Quite frankly, the only people that will find an interest in this movie are Indianapolis’ Catholic Archbishop and the leaders of Roncalli High School who find homosexuality to be an unacceptable sin. The film deals with a teenage boy (Lucas Hedges) who is sent to a religious conversion therapy school by his parents when they discover that he is gay. This same story was told in this year’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post, although that film was far more meaningful as well as entertaining. On the other hand, since the Post film dealt with a gay teenage girl played wonderfully by Chloë Grace Moretz, maybe Hollywood has finally found a way to treat women with more dignity than men.
There is not a single adult character in this movie that is remotely likeable, and that includes both Ms. Kidman and Mr. Crowe, who play Hedges’ parents. Crowe is a conservative preacher who is likely to be rejected by thoughtful, intelligent people of any faith, and I couldn’t help but suspect that anyone who admires him is probably teaching at Roncalli.
As for Ms. Kidman, she plays a blonde, thoughtless mother who does little more than follow the lead of her husband. Given that the film is based on a true story that took place in Arkansas in 2004, Ms. Kidman’s role as a southern spouse might as well have taken place in the pre-Antebellum South.
While I don’t mean to sound judgmental, it is hard for me to imagine how any person can go to Catholic mass every Sunday while their religion teaches a doctrine that Jesus loves everyone but homosexuals. Unfortunately, while this movie is supposed to shine a light on that diabolical absurdity and its consequences, it fails to provide any moment of inspiration.
Accordingly, if you are curious to hunt down this story on the big screen as referred to above, then watch the Post film at home and leave this movie to die a quick death.