Review: The Miseducation of Cameron Post
November 27, 2018
The Miseducation of Cameron Post, the latest major film depicting LGBTQ+ youth to debut, is a heart-wrenching portrayal of conversion therapy set in the 1990’s. Throughout the short movie, the audience follows Cameron Post, an 11thgrade student who is sent off to ‘God’s Promise’ camp after she is caught kissing another girl on prom night.
Her journey introduces us to many interesting characters—crazed anti-Gay adults who claim to have ‘recovered’ from their same sex attraction, campers who have bought into the system and allowed themselves to become brainwashed (though we see the ineffectiveness of conversion therapy on these campers, even, throughout the film), as well as the small group of rebels with whom Cameron finds her niche who chose to completely defy the message of the camp.
Chloe Grace Moretz took the lead role of the film’s namesake, Cameron Post. Moretz played this part well—with an amount of angst, anger, and emotion that has not been shown in the majority of her previous roles. Many of the most powerful scenes were carried by her characterization.
In fact, none of the acting was overly cheesy or unbelievable. The raw and real nature of the movie was where it excelled. While some of the campers were a little ‘out there’, for lack of a better term, the majority were relatable, normal people. Luckily, The Miseducation of Cameron Postavoided the trope of making LGBT+ people secondary to their sexuality and instead emphasized the individuality of each character.
While the film is set over 20 years ago, the social commentary is still eerily applicable to the modern day. Conversion therapy is much less of a taboo topic than it has been in the past, as the horrors of it have come to the surface recently, but it still remains legal in all but 14 states. The Miseducation of Cameron Postshows conversion therapy in a frighteningly realistic light: there is no physical abuse, only emotional manipulation. Repeatedly throughout the film, this abuse is discounted by adults who the campers seek out for help.
As most movies catered to teenagers do, The Miseducation of Cameron Posttiptoed around cliché just enough to avoid being completely predictable but not enough to leave the audience wondering what could happen next. At times, tragedy seemed thrown in as a plot twist for shock value instead of as a device to enhance the existing plotline. However, what the film lacks in originality it makes up for in the topics discussed above: commentary, acting, and an overall message that is applicable to most but especially important to teenagers who may be going through similar familial, religious or internal issues with their sexuality.