Marilyn Monroe once said, “We human beings are strange creatures and still reserve the right to think for ourselves.” Wise words coming from the woman who propelled the hearts of a generation of men, her peers—to be honest— and beyond to go gaga. And speaking of love, one of the bizarre but nevertheless beautiful things it does is produce the unlikeliest of matches. Hell, some relationships that start in rehab grow strong roots themselves. “Babyteeth” tells the story of two young lovers caught up in a similar environment.
First-time feature director Shannon Murphy is behind the project which is written by Rita Kalnejais and is an adaptation of her same stage play. Murphy has helmed a number of short films and recently directed two upcoming season three episodes of the series “Killing Eve.”
The movie’s young lovers are portrayed by Eliza Scanlen and Toby Wallace. Audiences will recognize Scanlen as Beth March in Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of “Little Women” from last year and as Amy Adams’ devious and troubled half-sister in HBO’s “Sharp Objects.” Wallace’s (“The Society”) performance in this project won him the Marcello Mastroianni Award for best young actor or actress at the previous year’s Venice International Film Festival. Also starring alongside the two are Essie Davis (“The Babadook”) and Ben Mendelsohn (“Captain Marvel” & “Bloodline”).
In our review from Venice, we said, “Its effectiveness is – for the most part – in its subtlety, in Milla’s refusal to wallow, and in its emotional intelligence. The end product is an imperfect but devastating story about doing our best with the cards we are dealt.”
Here’s the synopsis:
When seriously ill teenager Milla (Eliza Scanlen) falls madly in love with small-time drug dealer Moses (Toby Wallace), it’s her parents’ (Essie Davis and Ben Mendelsohn) worst nightmare. But as Milla’s first brush with love brings her a renewed lust for life, traditional morals go out the window, leaving her parents wanting to hold tighter to their little girl. Milla soon teaches everyone in her orbit – her parents, Moses, a sensitive music teacher, a budding child violinist, and a disarmingly honest, pregnant neighbor – how to live like you have nothing to lose. What might have been a disaster for the Finlay family instead leads to letting go and finding grace in the glorious chaos of life. BABYTEETH joyously explores how good it is to be alive and how far we will go for love.
“Babyteeth”—distributed by IFC Films—is set to premiere in theaters and on-demand June 19th. Opposites might really attract, so check out the trailer below.