Babyteeth might be the most depressing film of the year when we really don’t need a depressing film at the time. However, the performances were all outstanding including Ben Mendelssohn who gave his strongest performance since Bloodline.
BABYTEETH is Shannon Murphy’s (KILLING EVE) powerful, coming-of-age feature debut. When seriously ill teenager Milla (Eliza Scanlen) falls madly in love with small-time drug dealer Moses (Toby Wallace), it’s her parents’ (Essie Davis and Ben Mendelsohn) worst nightmare. But as Milla’s first brush with love brings her a renewed lust for life, traditional morals go out the window, leaving her parents wanting to hold tighter to their little girl. Milla soon teaches everyone in her orbit – her parents, Moses, a sensitive music teacher, a budding child violinist, and a disarmingly honest, pregnant neighbor – how to live like you have nothing to lose. What might have been a disaster for the Finlay family instead leads to letting go and finding grace in the glorious chaos of life. BABYTEETH joyously explores how good it is to be alive and how far we will go for love. BABYTEETH had its World Premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival in 2019 where actor Toby Wallace won the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor.
Toby Wallace is a revelation the performance is earth-shattering. Once again, however, this movie isn’t going to be for everybody as it deals with drugs and personality issues. It’s really bleak and tense to watch these characters develop. The pacing suffers a little for I thought this movie was over-long. Clocking in at almost two hours I would have like to see 25 minutes shaved off as there are scenes that tend to drag on a little here.