Desiree Akhavan directs Chloë Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane and Jennifer Ehle in this teen drama set at a 90s sexuality conversion camp run by misguided Christians.
A very well, made if a little bottled up, teen drama. Attempting to be a low key One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest is admirable. The film is at its best showing the consistently minor but totalitarian injustices of living in a passive aggressive hostile institution. And Moretz conveys the confusion of having her desires suppressed, her loneliness enforced and her interactions policed with aplomb. Yet its all too coy. There’s no heat or passion to the moments of stolen intimacy or minor acts of rebellion. Also like recent teen flicks Love, Simon and The Kings of Summer, the “cool kids” are actually personality vacuums. It is hard to connect with an ensemble where we are told how fantastic pretty faces Sasha Lane and Forrest Goodluck are but they do nothing but nod blankly along with our lead’s underdeveloped worldview and are, at best, present for snatched moments away from the oppressive regime. They don’t challenge or empower, merely are adjacent as mirrors of each other’s acceptableness. The nerdier christians undergoing the harmful “therapy” prove far richer personalities than the grunge kids of instagram. There’s a really great film struggling to get past an effected detached spaced out attitude. As if Desiree Akhavan was fearful of ever showing her cards and letting her leads respond to the drama or move forward from the unfairness of their plight. You just wish this allowed Moretz to breakout a dramatic swing for the fences, get one grand standing monologue or an engaging bit of insurgency. Despite this passivity The Miseducation of Cameron Post engages and affects via its soft sell injustice and subtle main performance.