In Casa de los Babys, director John Sayles turns his attention to an unspecified Latin 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, eat, and assemble a temporary community as they wait for their babies to arrive. They are vulnerable, wounded, immature, generous, 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 strange land. In a truly foreign, complicated and tropical setting, they deal with some of life's biggest issues. Casa de los Babys is provocative, humorous and touching. It is life in progress. No one can say what will happen to these babies and their new mothers, but the ending is a presentation of questions and promise.
|Lizzie Curry Martinez|
|Marcia Gay Harden|