By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
Australian director Shannon Murphy
(TV’s ‘Killing Eve”) makes her feature-length directorial debut with “Babyteeth”
which is currently available on streaming platforms.
This coming-of-age teen drama stars Eliza Scanlen (“Little Women”) as Milla, a cancer stricken 15-year-old whose homelife is dysfunctional. Milla’s father Henry (Ben Mendelsohn, TV’s “The Outsider”), is a psychiatrist and her mother Anna (Essie Davis, “True History of the Kelly Gang”) is a former musician turned housewife.
Seeing their daughter slowly dying has understandably caused them pain and strained their marriage.
Despite her health, Milla is determined to be a typical teen. She argues with and rebels against her parents even though they still have her best interests at heart.
Milla’s determined to live her life as she sees fit, for however long that may be. One day while at the train station while headed to her private school, Milla meets a skinny, tattooed guy named Moses (Toby Wallace, TV’s “The Society”). Why Milla even gives this lowlife the time of day is beyond me, but within minutes of talking to him she’s fallen hard for him.
Moses is every parent’s worst nightmare. He’s a sloppy, small-time drug dealer whose biggest ambition in life is hustling his way through it.
So, you can imagine the shock and embarrassment when Milla brings Moses home to meet her mom and dad.
Milla is a perfect opportunity for Moses. He uses her for money and over time begins stealing drugs from her father.
Moses has got to go, but he doesn’t because Milla’s in love and nothing is going to stop her from experiencing this special moment although she is becoming sicker and weaker.
There is a palpable warmth among the raw edginess of “Babyteeth” which makes it a bit less predictable than most teen dramas. This is a movie about parenting, loving, living, and letting go and director Shannon Murphy captures it—warts and all—rather nicely.
Check Out This Trailer For "BABYTEETH"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC), The Alliance Of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ) and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.