The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018)

The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Director: Desiree Akhavan
Writer: Desiree Akhavan, Cecilia Frugiuele
Based on: Emily M. Danforth‘s novel
Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane, Forrest Goodluck, Emily Skeggs, Owen Campbell, Steven Hauck, Quinn Shephard, Kerry Butler, Dalton Harrod, McCabe Slye, Dale Soules, Melanie Ehrlich, John Gallagher Jr., Jennifer Ehle
Seen on: 15.8.2018

Content Note: homomisia, conversion “therapy”

Cameron (Chloë Grace Moretz) is a teenager in love and things could be just fine if she wasn’t in love with a girl, Coley (Quinn Shephard). Because when her Aunt Ruth (Kerry Butler) finds out, she reacts quickly and Cameron finds herself in a conversion camp, led by Reverend Rick (John Gallagher Jr.) and Dr. Lydia Marsh (Jennifer Ehle). They set to work immediately on her. Work that has already shown a lot of effect on Cameron’s roommate Erin (Emily Skeggs). But maybe Cameron will find a bit of resistance at the camp or inside herself.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a wonderful film and a wonderful sophomore feature for Akhavan that was absolutely worth waiting for.

The film poster showing Chloe Grace Moretz' face in close-up, shaded in yellows and greens.

I haven’t read the book this is based on, but I’ll probably pick it up at a later point. In any case, I really loved the characters in this one, whether they are close to the book or not. They are interesting and relatable.

That the cast is really great is, of course, a very helpful factor. Moretz is awesome (as usual), but also Goodluck and Lane, who unfortunately cripped up for her role – Jane has only one leg, Lane has both. But the supporting cast was excellent as well: Emily Skeggs was a particular stand-out (and she doesn’t have a very thankful role), as well as Owen Campbell whose Mark gets one moment and he really makes that moment count. And as always, it’s a pleasure to see Jennifer Ehle.

Chloe Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane and Forrest Goodluck in the film.

But the film doesn’t just have a good cast and characters. It also has a nice soundtrack, good pacing and a great setting. Conversion “therapy” is a difficult topic, filled with pain for queer people. It’s simply bigotted, cruel abuse, dressed up in concern. The film cuts to the quick in its portrayal of that. Even if not all of the people involved set out to do harm, or maybe everybody believes they aren’t doing harm at all, The Miseducation of Cameron Post shows that harm is being done regardless.

Akhavan weaves all of that together and manages to show the pockets of resistance in a suppressive system. It manages to show they ways you can not be broken, even if everybody around you insists you are or does their best to break you or both. And it manages to show that breaking away, breaking free is possible. And that’s just wonderful.

Forrest Goodluck, Sasha Lane and Chloe Grace Moretz in the film.

Summarizing: Fantastic indeed.

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