Babyteeth is a glorious testament to love while facing death. We are born and we will die but how we live and treasure life will be the test.
Shannon Murphy(“Killing Eve” Season 3)an award-winning theatre and TV director has given us a delightful coming of age story about a terminally ill teenager. Milla (Eliza Scanlen)becomes infatuated with small-time drug dealer Moses(Toby Wallace), of course, her parents are horrified about the relationship. Moses sporting numerous tattoos, looking like he has not had a change of clothes or a bath in weeks. The epitome of a parent’s nightmare. Mila however sees Moses like most teenagers do when in love. She lights up with joy when around him and in those moments her illness is forgotten.
Her parents struggle emotionally with Mila’s illness making her Mother Anna(played by Essie Davis) resort to taking drugs prescribed by Mila’s psychiatrist dad Henry (played by Ben Mendelsohn). It is a delicate balance for this couple dealing with their fear and inevitable loss. To complicate matters Henry’s pregnant neighborhood begins to develop a not so neighborly feeling towards him.
Mila’s feeling for Moses grows deeper and we swept up in her self discovery. Though Moses may not seem like the ideal mate, rough around the edges, getting high and from a broken home. Regardless of the circumstance of his life, it’s refreshing to watch this seemingly mismatched couple love fall in love
Recognizing their terminally ill daughter finds happiness when he is around. They come to a pivotal decision and invite Moses to live with them. Mila refuses to have her illness define her being all too aware that her time is near with Eliza Scanlen bringing a strong sense of daring and courageous defiance to her role. It is refreshing to watch this young actress handle a role that could have easily left like a soap opera.
Instead, we are treated to a character that is vulnerable, strong, and full of purpose and that is to experience all that we take for granted in our lives. Toby’s portrayal of Moses is so organic not some cardboard idea of what he thinks a wayward drug dealer would be. Moses wears his emotions on his sleeve for all to see portraying a vulnerable, irresponsible young man grappling with his demons but comes to recognize the value of love.
With a well-crafted by script by Rita Kalnejais director Shannon Murphy shows she is unafraid to tackle difficult subjects. Giving us a delicate story of loss, guilt, regret, love forgiveness, and an appreciation for life.
BABYTEETH will be in theaters and on demand June 19
DIRECTED BY Shannon Murphy (“Killing Eve” Season 3, Variety 10 Directors to Watch for 2020)
WRITTEN BY Rita Kalnejais
STARRING Eliza Scanlen, Toby Wallace, Emily Barclay, Eugene Gilfedde, Essie Davis, and Ben Mendelsohn
**New Directors / New Films 2020 – Official Selection**
**Venice Film Festival 2019 – In Competition, Official Selection **
**BFI London Film Festival 2019 – Official Selection**
**Chicago International Film Festival 2019 – Official Selection**