Babyteeth ★★★★

Milla, a seriously ill teenager falls in love with a drug dealer, Moses, her parents worst nightmare. However, Shannon Murphy’s ‘Babyteeth’ is so much more. It’s a story about family and how they have found themselves in a near-impossible position. This teen sub-genre has been very saturated for a long time now but once in a while; lightning strikes. Murphy’s intimate and sensitive direction of Rita Kalnejais’ heartbreaking script could have fell into melodrama. But, the focus on the family dynamic and the shocking realism of their inevitable fate makes this film utterly heart-wrenching. Eliza Scanlon (Beth from Little Women) is a fireball of human nature as she approaches the role of Milla. A girl with nothing left to lose but everything to live for is very complex but utterly compelling and warm due to Scanlon’s rising talent. Toby Wallace as the enigmatic Moses is the wild card and very much plays into this role until the reveal of his emotional scars to Milla, cementing this very unconventional and passionate teen romance. Essie Davis and Ben Mendelsohn bring complex humanity to Milla’s parents who have been forced into an impossible situation full of despair. This nuanced approach to the family drama is what makes this film stand out from the rest. Like most teen drama, the soundtrack is key and in this case; we are not disappointed. Overall, handled with such sincerity and sweetness; Murphy’s ‘Babyteeth’ will break your heart while appreciating life’s beauty.