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Miseducation of Cameron Post, The  (DVD)


Stars: Chloe Grace Moretz, John Gallagher Jr, Sasha Lane, Jennifer Ehle, Stephen Hauck, Quinn Shepherd, Forrest Goodluck, Emily Skeggs

Director: Desiree Akhavan

A serious subject awkwardly treated, a film like this needs to affect you emotionally if it's to succeed. Unfortunately, that's never the case here: the approach is not very incisive or even interesting. It's slow, too, capped by a meaningless shot at the end that runs for a minute and a half.

The husky-voiced Moretz plays a 16-year-old high schooler and lesbian caught having sex with her girlfriend Coley (Shepherd). It's 1993 and, with her parents dead, Cameron's outraged aunt packs her off to an awful 'gender realignment' centre called God's Promise. It's like the summer camp from hell, where a group of teenage gays and lesbians are 'taught' to resist their same-sex impulses.

Stern Ehle (not for the first time the best thing in the film) plays the tightly wired principal. Asked by Moretz to call her Cam, Ehle replies 'Cameron's already a masculine name. To abbreviate it only exacerbates your gender confusion.'

Cameron, of course, is not at all confused, which reflects attitudes as little as 25 years ago. Playing her, however, Moretz does little more than mooch about with her low voice and side-of-mouth delivery, often making her dialogue difficult to hear.

There's a terrific film to be made around this subject, but this isn't it.

David Quinlan

USA 2017. UK Distributor: Vertigo. Colour by AbelCine.
87 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 17 Jan 2019