21 July 2024

Sundance London 2018 Review – The Miseducation Of Cameron Post (2018)

Kick-Ass star Chloe Grace Moretz stars as the titular character here, a teenager living circa 1993. She’s a high-school track athlete who attends Sunday School at the behest of her Aunt, who is now her carer after the sad loss of her parents to a car crash and has started a sexual relationship with a friend. The two are caught soon after and Cameron finds herself shipped off to God’s Promise, a community built on its “abilities” to “cure” those attending of their unholy feelings towards the same sex.

As has been very much a theme at this year’s Sundance London, Desiree Akhavan’s film is both honest and raw in its depiction of same sex relationships and has, at its core, a story from a female perspective that feels genuine, that feels important and one that is very much about people embracing who they are and not taking on other judgments of them. Such places like God’s Promise, and places like it, try to instill a fear in those they see as “different” yet, in so doing, not only alienate them but ironically encourage them to actively embrace who they want to be.

What comes from the refreshing approach by Akhavan is that its understated humour comes from its genuine nature, the awkwardness that those in attendance feel about their surroundings and their shared confusion. Indeed it allows Akhavan to explore people defining themselves on their own terms, having the drive to follow their hearts and their heads that the choices they are making are theirs and theirs alone, empowering themselves to be whoever they want.

The film is also blessed with some real powerhouse performances, not least from Moretz who has never been better. In the years since Hit-Girl the young actress has been somewhat stuck in some underwhelming teen movies that haven’t done her many favours (she was reportedly set to be pushed for awards for Louis C.K‘s I Love You, Daddy, before it was pulled indefinitely) but it’s this turn that will be the one to truly reinvigorate her career into more adult fare. And following her spectacular debut in American Honey, Sasha Lane demonstrates her brilliance once more, with typically brilliant support from Jennifer Ehle and John Gallagher Jnr.

An honest, compassionate and important tale about young adults coming to terms with both identity and sexuality, The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a timely film that doesn’t lose sight of its funny side, with a career-best performance from Moretz as it’s assured, anchor.

Scott J.Davis | [rating=4]

Drama, Romance | USA, 2018 | 15 | Vertigo Releasing | 7th September 2018 (UK Cinema) | Sundance London 2018 | Dir.Desiree Akhavan |Chloë Grace Moretz, Jennifer Ehle, Sasha Lane

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