Title: The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Director: Desiree Akhavan
Starring: Chole Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane, Jennifer Ehle
Runtime: 1 hr 31 mins
What It Is: This 1993 young adult drama stars Moretz as Cameron Post, a teenage girl with dead parents pressured to sign her name away to a Christian gay conversion camp after getting caught being intimate with her girlfriend. What follows is her journey through said “therapy” under former gay counselor Adam (Gallagher) and his strict sister Dr. Lydia Marsh (Ehle). Along the way, Cameron explores the stories and motivations of her peers, whether or not they are determined to live up to what’s expected of them, as she contemplates the credibility of the camp’s practices as well as her own identity.
What We Think: Let’s jump right into it: some moments of TMOCP play like a Sofia Coppola film, with a cool score, relaxed and well-composed cinematography that evokes a sort of familiarity, and a lack of needing to be overdramatic in order to make its point potent. All technical elements, while not particularly innovative nor memorable, play positively into a film focused on the circumstances and characters. The cast is well composed with believable performances, mostly on the part of Mortez, Lane, and Ehle. Mortez, in one of her most defining performances to date in a long, impressive filmography demonstrates her range in just how much of her conveyance of Cameron Post feels tangible. She plays the heroine as calm and observant with rewarding moments of sweetness that keeps the viewer watching with sympathy in experiencing the discomfort of the conversion camp ridiculousness. The story is a realistic and fresh portrayal of the treatment of homosexuality in a conservative society presented in what feels like a smaller story which, depending on who is in the context of simply watching a film, may be a good or a bad thing considering on what you’re looking to get out of this.
Our Grade: B-, This film is a sweet comeback of a good young adult story taken in hand with great maturity. There’s no unnecessary hassle or drama you often see in films starring and pointed at this particular age group. While it may not be the film you’re expecting, it’s a film that I believe will be of help to quite a few people (regardless of age) who can relate to Cameron’s situation, and that personal experience is priceless.