The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Out Now On-Demand
This Sundance-winning adaptation of the coming-of-age novel of the same name sees a teenager (Chloë Grace Moretz) shipped off to a "conversion therapy" camp by an aunt appalled by her sexuality. Defying re-education - really, emotional abuse and brainwashing - Cameron finds friends amid the pressure to change their orientation.
"Desiree Akhavan (Appropriate Behavior) won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize for her latest film, a moving comedy-drama set in a 'gay conversion' camp. 16-year-old Cameron Post (Chloë Grace Moretz, Kick-Ass) is living with her born-again Evangelical aunt while secretly sleeping with the prom queen. When the girls are caught in the back of a car, Cameron is sent to God’s Promise, a Christian conversion therapy centre where teens are 'cured' of their homosexual attractions. It’s in this surreal setting that she forms a close bond with two friends, Jane (Sasha Lane, American Honey, Heart Beats Loud) and Adam (Forrest Goodluck, The Revenant)." (Sydney International Film Festival)
Grand Jury Prize for US Drama, Sundance Film Festival
- Desiree Akhavan('Appropriate Behaviour')
Comedy, Drama, Romance
Rating: M Sex scenes, offensive language & drug use
The Miseducation of Cameron Post convincingly explores the banal cruelty of Evangelical gay conversion therapy and sincerely attempts to capture the swirling, contradictory feelings of a teenage girl caught up in it.
Based on Emily M. Danforth’s 2012 novel, the film takes place in 1993 and follows Cameron (Chloë Grace Moretz), a Montana teenager sent to gay conversion camp after she is found making out with a girl on prom night. When she arrives at God’s Promise, she meets other teenagers struggling with “SSA”—same sex attraction—and strives to retain control of her core, despite everyone advocating for her shame.
The film is at its best when Cameron goes hiking with Jane (Sasha Lane) and Adam (Forrest Goodluck), two of the other campers. The decision to cut these scenes short in favour of building out the rest of the ensemble was disappointing, especially considering the film’s ending. A better decision came in spending so much time with Cameron’s emotionality. Her conflicting inclinations; repression and defiance, guilt and desire, disgust with those around her and disgust with herself; make for one of Moretz’s best performances yet. Jennifer Ehle, too, is excellent as the severe camp director, and John Gallagher Jr. shines as a counsellor who himself “overcame” same-sex attraction.
While its tone throughout feels somewhat untethered, Cameron Post is a worthy sophomore feature for director Desiree Akhavan (Appropriate Behaviour). It skillfully evokes the 90s with clever, subtle costume and production design and—thanks to a talented ensemble—certainly has moments that stick, even if it’s emotional resonance wanes at times.
Little White Lies
NZ Herald (George Fenwick)
New York Times
A poignant tale of relevance and truth.
Its passionate, provoking and ever-relevant, with a light touch of humour and sound performances reinforcing this rather unique coming-of-age tale to notable heights, but nothing more.