Babyteeth Film Review

Eliza Scanlen stars in new Australian film 'Babyteeth'. Eliza Scanlen stars in new Australian film 'Babyteeth'.

Those who need special effects, large explosions and a spoon-fed storyline, this is not your kind of movie. Trust.

Rather, if you enjoy filmmaking that touches the heart, step forward and prepare to feel every emotion in the spectacularly brilliant directorial debut from Shannon Murphy and her wonderfully raw film 'Babyteeth'.

An Australian movie about a dysfunctional family who beautifully come together to forged ahead resolutely in the face of impending tragedy, 'Babyteeth' focuses on Milla, a teenage girl with a bleak future because of illness who instils love, hope, courage and inner strength in those who surround her.

From her prescription-addicted mother (the superb Essie Davies; Lady Crane from GoT as well as 'Lambs Of God' and 'True History Of The Kelly Gang') battling to find her own purpose in life, to psychiatrist father (the always wonderful Ben Mendelshon yet again showcasing his chameleon-like abilities; his role in 'The Outsider' is well worth your attention) dealing with his imploding family as well as his own shortcomings, and Moses (Toby Wallace; 'Romper Stomper', 'The Society'), a drug-addled lay-about who becomes the centre of Milla's world, to the chagrin of her parents.



Eliza Scanlen as Milla is a tour de force of fierceness who captivates your entire attention every moment she’s on screen.

Her portrayal of a teenage girl dealing with a cruel twist life has sprung on her alongside all the normal teenage emotions: tantrums, first love, bullying, rebelling and loneliness reaches every crevice of your heart. One moment you'll be laughing, as buoyant as the dazzling emotions Milla brings to the screen; the next, you'll be holding back the tears, knowing there's no way to stop the tear ducts from streaming summer rain down your face.

She's a long-way removed from her role as Tabitha Ford on 'Home And Away', proving her portrayal of a troubled teenager in the HBO miniseries 'Sharp Objects' was not a once-off. Eliza will star in M. Night Shyamalan's new, untitled thriller due out next year.

Toby Wallace also deserves special attention. As Moses, he nails the persona of a stereotypical drug addict, right down to the twitchy mannerisms and shifty looks; even the blood-streaked, red-rimmed eyes. You would not trust this guy if you meet in him real life.

Yet, as the movies progress and Moses becomes more intertwined with Milla and her family (the early morning scene between Moses and Milla's mother in the family's kitchen was particularly amusing), his own warmth and innocence begin to seep through; you'll be radiating with heart-felt joy while dabbing at your eyes as the final scenes approach.

Toby won Venice Film Festival's 2019 Marcello Mastroianni Award for best young actor for his 'Babyteeth' performance.

By the time the credits begin to roll, you'll have a bunch of feels to unpack personally, and that's a good thing. Let the emotions flow.

No matter who you are, everyone will be able to relate to the overarching themes 'Babyteeth' explores. It's a movie that will stay with you for days, if not much longer.

Totally mesmerising, 'Babyteeth' is the film 2020 really needs; a reminder that no matter what life throws at us, it's our personal relationships that nourishes even when heartache engulfs us – and never judge a book by its cover. Otherwise, you may just miss the best story ever.

And yes Milla, birds are indeed crazy. You'll obviously need to watch the movie to get the reference. Sorry, not sorry.

★★★★★

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