The Miseducation Of Cameron Post

Benefit Screening for the Ten Oaks Project. All seats $12.

Writer/director Desiree Akhavan, whose 2014 film Appropriate Behavior was a loose, autobiographical jaunt through queer women’s experiences in New York City, could not have picked a more different approach for her second feature, The Miseducation Of Cameron Post (winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance 2018). An adaptation of Emily M. Danforth’s popular novel, the film takes place in 1990s Montana, mostly in an isolated teen residential program that implements Evangelical Christian, anti-queer ‘reparative’ therapy.

Poster for the gay-therapy drama The Miseducation Of Cameron PostI had been worried in the lead-up that Chloë Grace Moretz would be too femme to play Cameron, who is a butch athlete in the book. But Moretz’s appalled face in reaction to the program’s dogma, along with her other responses to life in the facility, won me over. A poker-faced “Good” is how Cameron invariably replies to staff questions about how she’s progressing. After Erin, a fellow ‘disciple’ in the program, catches her shoplifting, Cameron quickly adds a disingenuous, “I feel so ashamed”, to keep Erin from telling staff.

Sasha Lane proves a delightful comic presence as Jane, another resistant teen at the facility. Her skeptical, liquid stares say as much as her expertly delivered punchlines.

The repressive setting would, in a less nuanced film, be a site of unadulterated horror. But Cameron, Jane, and Adam (Forrest Goodluck), like queer people through the ages, find ways to bond, joke, and help each other through the circumstances. When something terrible does happen, the experience cements the three together with newfound determination.

– Ren Jender, The Village Voice

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