There are a million dysfunctional family dramas in both film and television. The key to keeping this overpopulated genre fresh is by creating distinct, fascinating characters, a unique out of the blue situation, and in the case of Shannon Murphy and Rita Kalnejais’ Babyteeth, give it a grounded dark bent.
Our story takes place in a small, rural Australian town. Teen Milla (Eliza Scanlen) is about to hop on the train for high school. She’s a bit of a loner, but friendly. As a tiny stream of blood drips from her nose, she falls to the ground, where a nearby grungy, tattooed slacker, Moses (Toby Wallace), is there for the assist—eyes are locked and a connection is made.
“…a nearby grungy, tattooed slacker, Moses, is there for the assist—eyes are locked and a connection is made.”
Meanwhile, Milla’s parents Henry (Ben Mendelsohn) and Anna (Essie Davis) are home for a pre-scheduled nooner that goes awry. Milla, Henry, and Anna form an extremely fragile and oh so dysfunctional family. Their problems lie just under the surface with occasional bursts of disappointment and rage. Babyteeth supposes that the family’s breakdown came about from Milla’s bout with cancer years ago as extreme events change anyone close to it.
Milla is a strong independent teen always at odds with Anna. Milla loves the very flawed and homeless Moses, yet Anna thinks Milla is dating him just to piss her off. Then again, Milla has lost her hair from chemo, is continuously weakened by the treatment, and has freakin’ CANCER. Moses, on the other hand, is not at all liked by Henry, Anna, his mother, brother, and everyone else, in part to his current drug addictions and propensity to steal.
"…the ending will crush you in an unexpectedly beautiful way."