Boy Erased (2018): Biography / Drama

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A boy is sent by his parents to a church-supportive gay conversion program after revealing to them that he has “impure” thoughts about men.

Joel Edgerton proves time and time again that he was born and destined to be both in front and behind the camera. A fine addition and a major representative of the Australian film school.

The film: Garrard Conley’s heartfelt memoir is masterfully adapted for the big screen with nothing but emotion, sensitivity, honesty, and courage. Nicole Kidman, Russel Crowe, and Lucas Hedges give amazing performances, become mother, father and son, and open their house’s door for you to experience the suffering of their family’s drama. Non-linearly narrated, “Boy Erased” seems to be slightly holding its punches but delivers a clear message and puts the situation into perspective, establishing the backward, medieval, and shameless position of the church in the 21st century.

Life: “Boy Erased” is a drama that countless families across the globe face every year and, in their despair, they rely on a higher power to give them an answer to a natural, conscious choice that poses no question. The diversity of homosexual personalities, idiosyncrasies, quirks, and foibles extends as far as the heterosexuals’, the “normal”. And to this very day, men of science try to contextualise the “gay gene” – good luck isolating it from the “straight” one! And certain men of the cloth, and followers of an organisation, whose knowledge of the world is summarised in a fictitious book that is divorced from reality, want to cast out the “demon of homosexuality”.

Do we believe in God or do we believe in what others interpret of what God is? I remember being taught Jesus saying “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone”. But for the life of me, I can’t remember been taught about Him condemning homosexuality. We are soon entering the third decade of the 21st century, and by now, the State and the pharisaic Church should have been distinctively separated.

God is not to be blamed here. He Himself (is it ‘him’?) is the victim and sad creator of our decadent species. But there is still faith that the minorities in this world, who strive to make a difference, regardless of their age, gender, IQ, ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, and religious beliefs will one day grow more… and more… and more… and will dethrone archaic establishments, status quos, and organisations that have been ruling since the dawn of time. And “issues” such as homosexuality will stop being treated as “witch hunt”, will become accepted and, hopefully, soon after, will be taken as a matter of course where no one could care less.

And to quote the late Curt Cobain: “I am not gay, although I wish I were, just to piss off homophobes”.

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What Keeps You Alive (2018): Horror / Thriller

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Other than the title and its genre, read nothing beforehand. Get comfy, and for the next hour and a half see what happens to two women, who have decided to spend their lives together, celebrating their one-year anniversary in the cabin in the woods.

A story twisted beyond salvage. Suspicions of what might happen, turn a perceptual mind game into a heart pounding game of pure viscerality where the hunter becomes prey until the tide turns again.

Very well directed, produced, acted, and written even though it inevitably falls into the pit of overwrought hyperbole.

Thelma (2017): Drama / Fantasy / Horror

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Slow burn, Scandinavian “Carrie” will keep you at the edge of your seat. The story unfolds in baby steps creating the viewer a concoction of emotions as it covers a variety of themes such as coming of age, coming out, domestic, self-discovery, revenge, religion, science, psychogenic abilities, redemption… And all that wrapped in a cinematic experience, out of the ordinary, mainstream filmmaking. A psychological / paranormal drama that is tightrope walking between reality and fantasy, leading to a resolution that delivers and gives justice to the journey’s setup and confrontation.