As people grow up, ideas are suggested to them from various sources to help craft their life in a certain way. However with The Miseducation of Cameron Post, co-writer/director Desiree Akhavan makes an argument about the search for personal individuality which is not only liberating, but absolutely valid. Adapting Emily M. Danforth’s novel of the same name, Akhavan shows audiences that no matter what customs or beliefs are enforced onto another person, their voice and personality will stay pure to who they are.
Cameron Post (Chloë Grace Moretz) is sexually excited by the touch of a woman, yet she doesn’t claim to be gay – she’s still trying to figure herself out. In an attempt to push her attractions towards a more conservative orientation, her guardians send her to a Christian gay conversion centre. There, she meets other teenagers who are like her – confused and curious. Akhavan and co-writer Cecilia Frugiuele take their time to fully establish the believability of each character, which further draws the audience to each person Cameron meets. Once Cameron is situated at the centre, the film is threaded together by conversations between other frustrated guests, roommates who have a firm connection to their faith, and the adults who are determined to help their troubled youth.
Playing like a cross between the character studies of the very best indie dramas and the neutral religious views of Saved!, The Miseducation of Cameron Post doesn’t paint anyone out to be wrong. While that may sound like too much of an ambitious leap against the viewer’s own morals, the characterizations are so well defined and performed that movie goers can fully invest in a decision that’s fair considering what’s being shown in this arresting and – quite frankly extraordinary – feature film.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie