This fine Australian film, won prizes at many 2019 film festivals; without sensationalism it splays to the core a family’s horrifying pain of watching their teenage daughter’s loosing battle with intransigent cancer. Director Shannon Murphy (screenplay: Rita Kalnejais) in tandem with an extraordinary cast emotionally sear viewers with a revelatory, insightful vision of coping with the unimaginable.
Eliza Scanlen’s, “Milla” powerful, empathetic performance as the doomed high schooler, more than ravishing, simmers with a legitimacy that stuns; reminiscent of Shailene Woodley, in “The Fault in Our Stars”; screaming at the injustice of an abbreviated life Milla’s parents succumb to self-medication; Essie Davis (“Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries”), as Milla’s mother “Anna”, is sublimely fragile as she struggles for normalcy in an irrational situation; father, “Henry” played to perfection by Ben Mendelsohn, as a psychiatrist, may write prescriptions at whim. Enter “Moses” (Toby Wallace is dazzling), an older druggie, tattooed, blessed with an insouciant charm and Milla’s initiation into the world of romance; polar opposites, Moses invades their home and eventually their hearts.
Unlike John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars”, which left audiences, paralyzed with grief, “Babyteeth” offers a soothing, comforting salvation; Milla positively stains their future, paving a trail of sacredness as their lives progress.