9 September 2018 | Pjtaylor-96-138044
A low-key character drama that lacks a little punch.
Set amongst a backdrop of insidious emotional manipulation and subtle, self-hate inducing abuse, 'The Miseducation Of Cameron Post (2018)' is a low-key character-drama that excels at letting itself play out in an unexaggerated, 'realistic' way. It condemns its central situation - and specifically the very real institutions and mindsets that it showcases - simply by portraying it in as honest a way as possible, thereby allowing the audience to come to their own, hopefully universal conclusions about the underhanded evil on display (whether or not it's perpetrators know it to be so). However, the opportunity for social-commentary such a setting provides isn't quite as capitalised on as you might expect, since the judgement of its antagonistic characters and thought-processes very much rests on its audience's shoulders. In this way, it almost feels like it lacks the punch to properly sink into the issues on display. Yet, the lack of 'hand-holding' is also appreciated and the viewer is given perhaps more agency than usual. All in all, the almost 'back-seat' approach works for the genre but it's still a double-edged sword. It also applies to the character development, too, as so much of it is internal that one could mistake it for being absent. However, our lead undertakes a distinct and impactful journey. It usually occurs behind her eyes, out of our vision, but emerges in several key yet somewhat indirect moments to make for a wholistic and believable self-discovery. It could've perhaps been given some more room to breathe, alongside a few extra scenes dedicated to inner turmoil in order to make it perhaps more tangible, but is representative of the flick's overall 'laid-back', 'closed-off' vibe. The few moments when it bursts to the fore are powerful, too. The performances are universally great and Moretz is fantastic in the down-played lead role. Everything's generally so subtle, though, and that makes most of the movie a rather 'floaty' affair; there's only so much investment possible when everyone is so guarded and secretive. Still, the overall experience is entertaining, engaging and, sometimes, somewhat upsetting (seeing what these characters have to go through, which is still happening in our world right now, is tough at times). It's a picture that leaves you hopeful but actually has slight, somewhat intangible sting in the tail. There's plenty to like here, but perhaps more could've been done with the material. 6/10