Starring Ben Mendelsohn, Essie Davis, Eliza Scanlen
Written by Rita Kalnejais, Directed by Shannon Murphy
Run Time 1h 58min
Everyone remembers that moment when Cupid’s arrow first struck you. For Milla (Eliza Scanlen) we get to witness it first hand as she stands waiting for her morning train and Moses (Toby Wallace) bumps into her. Instantly Milla is taken by Moses’s fearlessness and when it is her time to board the train she stops and instead engages Moses in conversation. Milla is not an ordinary girl as she is dealing with cancer and two very loving parents in Anna (Essie Davis) and Henry (Ben Mendelsohn ), who push Milla to live life as she recovers from her sickness.
Moses has a drive behind his life choices and that is drugs, both the use of them and the selling of them. When he appears back in Milla’s life it is to steal whatever her and her parents have at their house. That though is not enough to extinguished Milla’s first love and seeing how she feels towards Moses, her parents persuade him to stay in her life, feeling it is something that they don’t want to deny her feeling. Milla who has lived a sheltered life, starts to branch out and follow Moses in some of his activities as so do the wigs she wears that seem to represent the places in her life. When it comes to first love there is nothing like it and while most of us can look forward to feeling those first moments again more than likely, Milla because of her health may never get that chance again. It is that understanding that Milla’s parents face, as they let a boy who is older and has his own demons to fight, keep their daughter company as she deals with her disease. All of it happens because Milla’s parents want her to live a life knowing that each day is a gift for as long as they have her.
Writer Rita Kalnejais crafts a story that while it at times takes a crazy route, it ends in the most satisfying destination. You are not prepared for the places it will take you and with the help of some stand out performances that help bring a humanity to the film, you will be hard pressed not to shed more than a few tears. While the story takes you to some emotional places, Shannon Murphy’s direction helps bring it all together as her visual help keeps the film grounded. There is a scene about three-fourths of the way through the film where while at a family/friend party, that Mila and Anna play a duet on the piano and violin that for the few minutes of screen time will have a lasting impression on you. I really was not expecting to where this film led me and I implore you to take that journey as well, because beauty like Babyteeth doesn’t come around often.
Babyteeth is currently streaming on VOD