The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Adapting the novel of Emily Danforth, filmmaker Desiree Akhavan has created a restrained yet incredibly moving film about the experience of young LGBTQ people who have been sent to a ‘gay-cure’ camp by their families.
Although set in 1993, this is a film that feels very contemporary.
The story follows Cameron Post (Chloë Grace Moretz) who is caught in the backseat of a car making out with her best friend Coley Taylor (Quinn Shephard) and is subsequently outed as a lesbian. Cameron’s aunt Ruth (Kerry Butler) consults with her church and decides to send her to a remote ‘treatment’ centre called God’s Promise.
It’s a well-crafted story, and Akhavan shows tremendous restraint in allowing the characters to slowly reveal their motivations, and their pain. What’s particularly compelling is the demonstration that no matter how well-meaning people may be, or whether their actions come from a place of love, the damage they are inflicting on these young people is horrific and inexcusable.
Chloë Grace Moretz again demonstrates that she can intelligently create an authentic character that holds our attention even when she’s not saying anything. Owen Campbell’s compelling performance delivers the emotional gut-punch, and Jennifer Ehle effectively captures the evangelical blindness to the harm being caused.
Akhavan manages to deliver a lightness of touch that saves the film from being overwhelmed by the bleakness of its subject. Celebrating the resilience of the young men and women who are somehow managing to navigate their way through life in spite of the obstacles being put in their way by their families and their church.
The sad part is that this film is not a period piece - ’gay-cure’ and ‘conversion’ therapy is still legal in many parts of the world, and there are still kids today being subjected to this emotional abuse and torment.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a well-made and watchable film that everyone should make the effort to see.
- Chloë Grace Moretz as Cameron Post
- John Gallagher, Jr. as Reverend Rick
- Sasha Lane as Jane Fonda
- Forrest Goodluck as Adam Red Eagle
- Marin Ireland as Bethany
- Owen Campbell as Mark
- Kerry Butler as Ruth Post
- Quinn Shephard as Coley Taylor
- Emily Skeggs as Erin
- Jennifer Ehle as Dr. Lydia March
- Dalton Harrod as Jamie
- Christopher Dylan White as Dane Bunsky
- Steven Hauck as Pastor Crawford
- Isaac Jin Solstein as Steve Cromps
- Melanie Ehrlich as Helen Showalter
- McCabe Slye as Brett
- Dale Soules as Grandma