The Miseducation of Cameron Post (CIFF 2018)

I’m not sure you’ll ever see a Hollywood movie that comes down in favor of gay conversion centers. If you do, we, as a society, have royally messed up. In the 2018 festival circuit, we’ve got two movies about such centers. This one, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, sees the eponymous Cameron (Chloë Grace Moretz) get sent away in order to “cure” her of her same-sex attraction. She’s not exactly fond of the idea, she meets a couple of other people who have similar views, she goes through the motions anyway, and the film eventually reaches the very conclusion you’ve probably already assumed it’s going to get to.

So, then, why watch the film? Ostensibly, it’s because telling this exact story with these precise characters will make it more impactful, because the insights are specific and targeted, and because it’s entertaining in its own right. Some of that’s true. Some of it might be even more true for others who watch it and take more from it. And it does have laughs, a few shocking moments—in the sense that it’s a shock to hear some people believe some of the things they believe—and isn’t ever dull.

However, it’s a little aimless once we get to the conversion center and have to endure the same day-to-day activities as its characters. Cameron doesn’t immediately reject or accept anything; she’s too much of a wallflower and as such doesn’t become an interesting character until its second half, which is when the film coincidentally picks up, too. There are some odd (read: not great) cinematography choices and sound mixing slips scattered throughout, but they don’t really get in the way of the story that’s being told. Overall, The Miseducation of Cameron Post feels a little generic—even with the conversion center idea, it plays out similarly to most coming-of-age movies—but is not a bad watch.

Conclusion: The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a fairly generic coming-of-age movie whose specific subject matter and acting makes it worthwhile.

Recommendation: If you think it’ll mean something more to you or you’re a fan of the actors, then you should check out The Miseducation of Cameron Post.

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