Babyteeth (2020)

Shannon Murphy directs Eliza Scanlen, Toby Wallace and Essie Davis in this Australian drama about a terminal teen who falls for a homeless junkie and her dysfunctional parents reaction.

A difficult film to get a grip on. Clearly wants to be unjudgmental of its characters warts and all behaviour. Likes to point out the hypocrisy of middle class, middle age people who self medicate looking down on junkies. But then junkies don’t keep nice, safe, tastefully furnished homes… do the laundry, fill the fridge, keep you distant from street violence and your wardrobe stocked with quirky prints and a half a dozen wigs. It ain’t a binary comparison. Like much of the film the message is messy or half hearted, the visuals and the moment and the feels are more important. The acting is uniformly great. Scene for scene Scanlen, Ben Mendelsohn and especially Essie Davis smash it. But the characters are wildly inconsistent and never entirely believable in their bigger lurches into danger. Only Toby Wallace’s sweet natured pillhead really has a role that stays ‘steady’ and he’s is wonderful in it. You get the overriding feeling that as long as the visuals and soundtrack are sleazy but pleasing the director is happy. There are show-offy stylistic choices smothering a more engaging film. A film that talks about a lot of sensitive topics but struggles to say anything coherently. Definitely an experience though.

5

Check out my wife Natalie’s Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

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