Review: Babyteeth

One last obsession.

Milla (Eliza Scanlan) is a teenager fighting an unspecified type of cancer. She runs into a 23 year old druggie, Moses (Toby Wallace) and becomes infatuated with his laid back nature. Her parents, Anna and Henry (Essie Davis and Ben Mendelsohn) are already having a hard enough time dealing with the very real fact that they may lose their daughter. Henry is a psychologist, who has gone as far as to medicate Anna to make it easier while distracting himself with helping their aloof neighbor Toby. (Emily Barclay) Eventually, even they give in to having Moses be a part of Milla's life.

At one point Anna and Henry remark that letting Moses stay with them is "about the worst parenting ever" which is helpful in suspending your disbelief that parents would ever do this. On the other hand, it's also what contributes to this film being slightly different from all the others in the sick kid genre. Henry tries to sneak photos of Milla looking happy throughout the film, so it's quite fitting that director Shannon Murphy almost makes her camera a character of its own, constantly getting up close and personal with the actors. It's as if the camera itself doesn't want to miss a thing either.

Eliza Scanlan is proving to be one of the most talented young actors out there and she doesn't disappoint here. For someone who has already accepted death, but not accepted missing out on certain experiences, she's wonderful to watch, even when times get hard. Wallace is equally convincing, and of course I loved Mendelsohn and Davis in their parental roles. They give Milla space, which is sometimes a rarity in these type of films.

My only complaint is that at the beginning of the 3rd act, Moses' demons and misgivings are so rushed because the film needed certain characters to be in place for the ending, and it happened so suddenly I thought I missed something. It's a strange pacing choice because the rest of the film wasn't like that. But for the $5.99 VOD rental fee, this one is definitely worth your time.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B+

Memorable Quote: "Of course it's true, I read it online." - Toby (Emily Barclay)

8 comments:

  1. Great review! I've loved Eliza Scanlan since Sharp Objects. I feel like her role in Little Women didn't get to show off her acting abilities at all, but this role did!

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    1. I agree, she didn't get a ton to do in Little Women but I'm glad she got to make up for it here.

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  2. I have heard good things about this as well as a lot of great things about Eliza Scanlen who I liked a lot in Little Women as I thought she brought more nuances to her character than a lot of other adaptations had done. Especially the scene where she and Saiorse Ronan were on the beach together as I liked that little conversation.

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    1. Yes! That was one of my favorite scenes in Little Women.

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  3. I liked it. I liked some of the scenes visually so much that they gave me chills. I had bit of trouble when it came to the romance element, I think there wasn't enough obsession or neither love for it to work either for the obsession or the love part. Like, it was just... I don't know. It was mostly the writing not the acting though, acting was brilliant. And the rawness of this made this movie a whole lot different than any other in this genre.

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    1. I agree with you on the relationship. It felt more like a distraction than a full blown obsession.

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  4. Ben was so busy making ladies turned on it was a miracle he even noticed he had a daughter :D jk he was a really good dad in this, giving the circumstances

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    1. He was. Questionable boyfriend aside, I really liked him sneaking photos. I thought that was so sweet.

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