Tribeca Film Festival: The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018) reviewed by Jonathan Berk

Director Desiree Akhavan has crafted a great film that features a strong cast and an even more compelling story. The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018) won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and was added to the Tribeca Film Festival list of films, which is where I was able to see it. The film has many funny moments wedged in the middle of some very dramatic ones, with characters that are relatable and likable.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a movie to be on the lookout for

Cameron Post (Chloë Grace Moretz) is caught making out with her best girlfriend, Coley Taylor (Quinn Shephard), at the homecoming dance, freaking out their small community in the early ‘90s. Cameron is sent to a gay conversion therapy center, where she is promised that they’ll be able to help her resist the sin, just like counselor Reverend Rick (John Gallagher Jr.), who was once gay but no longer is. This film depicts a time in life which is centered around self-discovery, sexual awakening, and coming to terms with how other people will place judgment upon you.

The friends Cameron makes at the camp are a big part of the joy of the film.  Jane Fonda (Sasha Lane) and Adam Red Eagle (Forrest Goodluck) are the rebels at the center who clearly aren’t on board with the therapy. Then there is her roommate, Erin (Emily Skeggs), who is 100% convinced that the therapy can cure them all, just like it did for Rick. Cameron develops relationships with these three and a few others at the center as she navigates through the experience. Dr. Lydia Marsh (Jennifer Ehle) leads the therapy and curriculum of the center and has a no-nonsense approach to the process. She is definitely of the belief that being homosexual is the same as any other sin: a choice that a person makes, which can be resisted with training and conviction.

Cameron seems to be unsure of where she stands with the whole process. Can she be cured? It would sure make her life easier with her aunt, and she could potentially go home and try to live a “normal” life. It’s a role that requires a lot from Moretz, and she is able to deliver. Her awkwardness and inability to control some laughter really plays big with the audience and makes Cameron extremely relatable. It’s clear that she isn’t comfortable with who she is yet, and is unsure if she is gay or just too weak to resist the temptation. The film does a terrific job setting up this inner conflict and making it a compelling aspect of the story.

Final thoughts…

The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a film that definitely highlights some of the closed-mindedness of the ‘90s. While there are still people who might feel the same way about homosexuality in today’s world, it has definitely become less common. Yet, the themes and challenges shown in the film are always relevant in a coming of age story, and this one is executed greatly. That said, the film earns the Must See rating.

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