03rd Dec2018

‘The Miseducation of Cameron Post’ DVD Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Chloë Grace Moretz, Jennifer Ehle, John Gallagher Jr., Sasha Lane, Forrest Goodluck | Written by Emily M. Danforth, Desiree Akhavan, Cecilia Frugiuele | Directed by Desiree Akhavan

cameron-post-dvd-cover

The Miseducation of Cameron Post is the second feature from rising director Desiree Akhavan. Her latest, a terrifying tale of sexual oppression by religion is based on the book by Emily M. Danforth and tackles the horrific religious sector of gay conversion therapy and the horrors that occur in such circles that is unbelievably still legal in over thirty states to this day.

The film follows the titular character (Chloë Grace Moretz) as she is sent to a gay conversion therapy center after getting caught with another girl in the back seat of a car on prom night. Run by the strict and severe Dr. Lydia Marsh (Jennifer Ehle) and her brother, Reverend Rick (John Gallagher Jr.) — himself an example of how those in the program can be “cured” — the center is built upon repenting for same sex attraction. In the face of intolerance and denial, Cameron meets a group of fellow “sinners,” including the amputee stoner Jane (Sasha Lane) and her friend, the Lakota Two-Spirit Adam (Forrest Goodluck). This group of teenagers forms an unlikely family as they fight to survive.

Chloe Grace Moretz stars as the titular character and it is arguably her best performance to date. A backhanded compliment if anything, as Moretz still can’t find significant charisma or range aside from the remnants of the previous performance in the last picture she starred in, or find the quality she showcased in Matt Reeves’ American remake of Let the Right One In, as she slowly evolves and transitions from child actress to a mature performer. Credit, where credit is due Moretz has all but left the studio system and found her rightful place in the independent circuit, in which she is undoubtedly flourishing in with Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria and Neil Jordan’s Greta. Her portrayals of the likes of Carrie and Hit-Girl in Kick-Ass are gone and slowly but surely the talent of Moretz will spill out.

Moretz showcases skill, no doubt. A stoic angst is present and the performance evokes a nightmarish sense of oppression, yet the anger and emotion derives more so from the screenplay by author Emily M. Danforth, director Desiree Akhavan and writer Cecilia Frugiuele than the performers themselves. However, much of the animosity is visible in the character and resulting performance from Jennifer Ehle, who is terrific as the physical antagonist. Yet, much like the film itself Ehle and many other elements feel hollow and unfinished. Character arcs don’t have a resolution or a climax for that matter. The Miseducation of Cameron Post itself is abrupt and often slack with how it showcases the nightmarish scenario for these terrified human beings who a being brainwashed to hate themselves and the very people they identify with. The themes and emotion is sadly just not here and even when it is at the tip of the film’s tongue it escapes in the midst of missed opportunity and declaration.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post is released on DVD in the US today. The film comes to DVD and Blu-ray the UK on January 14th 2019.

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