The film is based on Garrard Conley’s 2016 memoir of the same name about his experience at a gay conversion therapy program, which he attended at 19 at the behest of his religious parents. The trailer notably features a snippet of a new song, “Revelation,” which Sivan recorded with Sigur Ros’ Jónsi.
Boy Erased stars Hedges as Garrard, while Kidman plays his mother and Crowe his father, who also happens to be a Baptist pastor. The trailer offers a glimpse into the psychological and sometimes physical abuse such conversion programs inflict on those forced to attend. Flea plays one of the counselors, who scolds his charges like a drill sergeant, barking, “Fake it till you make it. Become the man you are not. Save yourself!”
The rest of the trailer is packed with fiery family drama but also several poignant moments, like when Kidman’s character seemingly comes to realize that conversion therapy isn’t actually helping her son. Sivan, who plays another young man at the program, appears briefly to offer Garrard a bittersweet piece of advice, “Tell them whatever they want to hear. Play the part, unless you really think you can change – or even want to.”
Boy Erased opens in select theaters November 2nd.