Film Review: Babyteeth

babyteethThe plot of Shannon Murphy’s debut dramatic feature, Babyteeth is familiar: A spirited teen is diagnosed with terminal cancer and then falls in love with an eccentric boy who renews her lust for life or whatever, while her dysfunctional parents look on disapprovingly. But Murphy’s film, based on the hit play by Rita Kalnejais, is basically the antithesis of melodramatic schmaltz like A Walk to Remember or The Fault in Our Stars.

Eliza Scanlen (Sharp Objects, Little Women), utilizes her resume to play the terminally-ill daughter of Henry (Ben Mendelsohn, Captain Marvel, Rogue One), a psychiatrist and Anna (Essie Davis, Game of Thrones), a former piano prodigy. The story unfolds in the non-postcard parts of Sydney, Australia. A hand-held camera lends a home movie vibe to the proceedings (if your home movies were shot by a professional DP).

The film opens with a tooth falling into a glass. We eventually learn that it belongs to a fifteen-year-old girl named Milla Finlay. She has a bleak cancer prognosis and a baby tooth that’s holding on for dear life. Her middle-class life has been rather uneventful so far and now it’s almost over. Perhaps that’s what’s she’s contemplating en route to school one morning, when a hot young vagrant named Moses (Toby Wallace, Romper Stomper mini-series), nearly knocks her into an oncoming train. He sports a face tattoo and a haircut that looks like it was done by a toddler. He’s what the pop artist Two Thangs would call a “Dirtbag Pinup.” When Milla’s nose starts bleeding, Moses removes his shirt, pulls her into his lap, and places it oppressively over her nose and mouth. Afterward, he asks her for money. Milla is immediately smitten…

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Paid in Puke S2E1: Muriel’s Wedding

On our Series Two opener, we gush about P.J. Hogan’s 1994 very Aussie, ABBA-tastic comedy, Muriel’s Wedding, starring Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the Time of Valens (aka Galentine’s Day). Amy and Cristina count the film among their very favorites, and Baxter had never seen it.

Muriel's Wedding art

Regardless, this viewing brought up some stuff for all three of us! We touch on such topics as philandering fathers, emotionally battered mothers, body image issues, early adulthood besties, and inspirational musicians. It’s a lot more fun than it sounds? We also attempt Australian accents with varying degrees of success.