Directed by Desiree Akhavan
22nd August 2018
Reviewed by Darren Guy
Cameron Post (Chloë Grace Moretz) is a 15-year- old girl, caught in a intimate embrace with another girl at a homecoming dance. by her horrified boyfriend, in the back of his car.
Cameron’s Christian aunt, her main carer, sends her to a remote gay conversion therapy centre. ’God’s Promise’, to “pray away the gay.”
Here she meets the reverend Rick (John Gallagher Jr.), a goody two shoes, guitar-player, ‘former’ gay guy, and the sly smiling Dr Marsh (Jennifer Ehle) and a group of other young people, some damaged, others rebellious, most notably Jane and Adam, all sent there to ‘pray away the gay’.
Based on the 2012 book by Emily Danforth, Cameron is set challenges, with the rest of young residents, to get rid of their gay desires and conform to good old family values.
The film has some good performance, notably from Choloe. but for me it feels like its been done before. It reminded me of a mix between ‘Girl Interrupted’ and ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’, without the intense drama.
To be honest I hoped for a lot more from this film. I found it at times slow and too low beat, and although, the book was set in 1993, the movie didn’t need to be. For me, as a social value film, it gives the impression that gay conversation was a thing of the past, when it reality this practice is still taking place in many, many Christian fundamentalist sects.
The Miseducation Of Cameron Post does come from the position of young people, which is its strength, and maybe its saviour. There are a few very moving and funny moments, when we realise, these are young people and they need love and understanding, not put into the care of those who aim to indoctrinate them.
A few poignant lines in the film ring out. When Cameron is asked if she’s a lesbian she says ‘I don’t know what I am’, revealing very clearly the pressure young people are persistently under, to box their identities in.
And later when it’s becoming clear the whole conversation therapy is a fraud and Reverend Rick is losing control, Cameron challenges him “you don’t know what you are doing, you are just making it up as you go along”.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post is on general release from September 7th.