The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018)
Critic Consensus: The Miseducation of Cameron Post tells its timely coming-of-age story with wit, compassion, and an affecting overall generosity of spirit.
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as Cameron Post
as Rev. Rick
as Dr. Lydia Marsh
as Adam Red Eagle
as Coley Taylor
as Pastor Crawford
as Helen Showalter
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Critic Reviews for The Miseducation of Cameron Post
[Post] is anchored by a strong performance by Chloe Grace Moretz.
A timid drama with a passive voice that doesn't align with the importance of its subject matter.
Told through the perspective of a hormonal girl in a community that disapproves of her desires, it's like explosives in the head and heart.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a modest-size film that performs a service opposite to that of Conversion therapy: It respects the vulnerability that accompanies the emergence of any young person's sexuality.
Akhavan keeps the camera locked on Moretz's face; every time you think she can't possibly go closer, she does. But it's the definition of a female gaze.
Audience Reviews for The Miseducation of Cameron Post
For anyone who has seen But I'm a Cheerleader, The Miseducation of Cameron Post is pretty much a remake by way of dropping the John Waters kitsch for a Sundance-bait aesthetic. Chloe Grace Moretz knocks it out of the 90's mega-church with her portrayal of a young girl sent to a "pray the gay away" camp for wayward gay and gender dysphoric youth. After being caught in a car making hanky-panky with her same sex BFF, her crushed prom date sniffles, defeated as a man boy, while her family reacts by sending her off to conversion therapy camp. Things go as one would expect in a place like this. You have dweeby Christian youth group types pseudo-psychoanalyzing children, probing their insecurities and unsureties about how they perceive the world and how the world perceives them, then gaslighting them with whataboutisms, clunky metaphors, and the almighty, pervasive fear of Sin(TM). All the while the stewards of the camp have so much cognitive dissonance mixed with naivete mixed with improvisational rationale that you can't help but feel bad for all of the parties involved. For anyone who has lived outside the confines of ideological imprisonment for the totality of their lives, it will come as no surprise the degree of hypocrisy and misinformation inherent to faith-based approaches to social programming. But as a person who grew up in the faith, witnessing the clash between idyllic metaphysical dogma and the way the world actually functions, this movie was a bit of a stomach punch at times. As far as I can recall into childhood, I knew that there was a vast world out there where foreign ideas and foreign people were existing. I could conceive of the fact that those folks probably had vastly different concepts about life, Earth, and the Universe than I did, so I always found it strange when I was told that a 2000 year old book had all of the answers to life's questions in it. I totally bought that magic was real, and people came back from the dead, and fire came from the sky to wipe out bad people. But the idea that past all of that chaos there is a moral order to it? That there's essentially one single ethical pathway to the good life? I could tell THAT was bubkis. There's this dynamic shift in the conversation in this film. Someone asks a question to Cameron, and she can't respond or says "I don't know". The questioner then takes that opportunity to assert themselves either by rebuking her or correcting her or leading her to some predetermined conclusion they had constructed before asking. In a clinical bubble, ideology can seem firm and resolute, and those who wish to impose control on others will always use the smoothest ideologies to coerce and incapacitate. When taken out of that space though, the reasoning falters, and even the arbiter of that ideology will lose their choke-hold on so-called "truth". So instead of spending time trying to fit yourself into a construct, or fit a construct to you, or impose that construct on others, maybe just let it be and enjoy the world and its people while you still can? Not being a shitty person really helps with that, regardless of faith.
BUT I'M A WORSHIP LEADER - My Review of THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST (2 1/2 Stars) The winner of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize, THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST, clearly indicates to me that altitude sickness is real up in Park City, Utah. How else to explain the prize going to a film as wan as this one? While I appreciate the serious approach to the difficult subject matter of Gay Conversion Therapy, I'd much prefer to watch its goofier predecessor again, 1999's flawed but adorable BUT I'M A CHEERLEADER, than sit through this joyless slog. Director Desiree Akhavan, who made her feature debut with the terrific APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR, along with co-writer Cecilia Frugiuele, tells the story of Cameron (Chloë Grace Moretz), a young teen who in 1993 gets caught making out with her best female friend in the back seat of a car and is sent off to a Christian Camp called God's Promise. The goal is to squelch her "struggle with same sex attraction". Run by the camp's version of Nurse Ratched, Lydia Marsh (Jennifer Ehle), along with her brother Rick (John Gallagher Jr.) who is her number one ex-gay success story, the camp uses prayer, group therapy, shame and deprivation to change a person's sexual orientation. It's ugly stuff and all conveyed with stern, hushed smiles and strong coercion. Cameron meets the other kids, a glorious who's-who of young actors who have already made their mark in other films and theater, such as Emily Skeggs (FUN HOME) as her roommate Emily, Forrest Goodluck (THE REVENANT) as Adam, a kid taunted for his long hair, and AMERICAN HONEY'S breakout star, Sasha Lane as Jane, a pot-smoking free spirit. It's a terrific cast, but everyone is directed to deliver as little energy as possible. This is the quietest movie I've ever seen about anything gay! Clearly Akhavan has made a stylistic choice, perhaps to distance herself from the campy tone of CHEERLEADER or most funny gay movies, but we're left with something beautiful but flat and all too precious. Cutting through it, however, is Moretz's performance, which walks a fine line between rebelliousness and respect for her elders. She has self-possession by the truckload and I am loving watching her develop as a world class actor. I found myself dying for her character to lash out at her oppressors, but the film stays grounded, too grounded in my opinion, in reality, which means its truthful yet kind of boring as hell. I acknowledge that people put through the hell of conversion therapy deserve a serious story on the subject, especially considering how the therapy has led to suicides. It's as if Akhavan made the right movie on the subject, which means it can't be too entertaining by nature. It's a tough position to be in when making a film on such a hot button issue. Despite this, I respect this film. I respect its focus on the minute-by-minute experience of these camps, it's consistent tone (despite my wariness with it), and that wonderful, long GRADUATE-esque final shot. I thought Gallagher Jr. did a fantastic job with his tricky role, especially when Moretz tells him he's making everything up as he goes along. Perhaps the film won over the Sundance jury because of the issue being handled in such an adult manner. But dear God, even oppressed teens have a little more spark in them that this!
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