Sundance London 2018 Preview - The Miseducation Of Cameron Pope
Dir: Desiree Akhavan
Starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Jennifer Ehle, Marin Ireland, Sasha Lane, John Gallagher Jr, Owen Campbell
Chloe Grace Moretz is marvellous as the titular character here, a girl caught having sex on the back seat of a car on prom night. Only trouble is, she’s having sex with another girl. So it’s off to the Christian retreat for her in a desperate attempt to de-gay the gay.
What follows – an adaptation of the popular book by Emily Danforth by the director Akhaven – is a film tinged with sadness and infused with humour, populated by well realised characters and situations that don’t seek to induce the ire they could, but instead focus on the day to day reality of teens coming to terms with themselves. In this case, very much in defiance of the odds.
Akhaven’s film seeks discussion more than condemnation, on all sides, and as such manages to deliver fully rounded characters for the most part, even Jennifer Ehle’s wonderfully robotic counsellor, who still manages to do imply more menace with her beatific smile than most could muster with considerably more obvious material.
Despite the contentious nature of the de-programming material here, Akhaven firmly choses her characters as her focus, allowing the film to shy away from the potential politics of the piece.
But it’s a very winning cast – Moretz firmly leading – and ultimately it takes a desperate situation (and one moment of tragedy in particular) and manages to find hope in its outcome.
The Sundance Festival ’18 London runs from May 31 to June 3 - https://spotlight.picturehouses.com/category/sundance-film-festival/
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