Casa de los Babys

Released 2003


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Movie Summary

John Sayles
In Casa de los Babys, director John Sayles turns his attention to an unspecified Latin American country where a group of American women wait to adopt a child. The film stars an ensemble cast of Maggie Gyllenhaal, Daryl Hannah, Marcia Gay Harden, Susan Lynch, Rita Moreno, Mary Steenburgen and Lili Taylor. Each has come for their own reasons and from vastly different backgrounds. Each waits as the adoption applications move slowly through the bureaucracy. Trapped for weeks in an exotic hotel run by the enigmatic Senora Munoz (Rita Moreno), they expose their opinions, prejudices and insecurities. Casa de los Babys is a sharp, insightful look at clashing cultures, contemporary motherhood and the mysteries of fate. We meet these six very different, very modern women on the verge of a life-changing event, wondering what will happen next. They have taken different pathways toward foreign adoption. One is a single mother, another has financial worries, one endures a shaky marriage, and yet another has suffered the deaths of her own infant children. As they fulfill the country?s residency requirement, they spend their time together. The women shop, go to the beach, and eat together, and assemble a temporary community as they wait for their babies to arrive. They are vulnerable, wounded, immature, generous, and loving. As he does in all of his films, Sayles has created a canvas that encompasses the full range of human emotions. As much as they try to fit in, they are strangers in a str...moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 70

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    Some of the pieces in its jigsaw puzzle are too fragmentary, and there's a sense of racing against time to fill in the blanks. Yet the movie's even-handed portrayal of two cultures...

  • 60

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    There is often not enough space for all these personalities to truly play out. They tend to become types rather than people, representatives of classes and points of view more than...

  • 30

    Variety David Rooney

    An entirely schematic treatise on maternity and conflicting cultures. A subject perhaps far more suited to documentary treatment, this numbingly earnest effort will be a laborious ...

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