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Casa de los Babys


John Sayles

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Plot Summary

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.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 105
  • Fresh: 61
  • Rotten: 44
  • Average Rating: 6.0/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: A powerfully written, well-acted movie that tackles an unusual and compelling subject. – Claudia Puig, USA Today, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Eschewing all sentiment, avoiding all pathos, keeping his film and most of the women hard as nails, [Sayles] manages to tell a compelling story. – Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune, Jul 7, 2010

Rotten: Suggests a filmmaker whose vision has become reductive, motivated not by all-embracing interest but by an ultimately self-protective intent not to surrender to blind emotion in any form. – Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, Jan 15, 2004

Rotten: For all his patient, accumulative storytelling, Sayles yields little that doesn't feel trite or overly schematic. – Desson Thomson, Washington Post, Jul 16, 2008

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Casa de Nada

Unfortunately this film takes a narrow point of view and doesn't portray the experience of most imternational adoptions. The performances are forced because the material is overly pointed. We found no character to sympathise with. The American characters are written stereotypically as if the filmmaker is embarassed for them. The local people are hapless and weak. It's as if some great evil has been placed upon the unwanted children and Mr. Sayles knows not who to blame so everyone is guilty. How depressing. How untrue. How unbelieveable. A Sayles fans we were dissapointed in this effort. It seems he has genuflected at the altar of Pessimism and sold his soul to Despair. The result is a movie meant to be provocative that turns out to be heartless. A story about the real struggles of international adoptions (for all involved) would have been much more fascinating and poignant. Don't fill up your iPhone with this bad memory.

John Sayles understands women

I've said it before -- it amazes me how well John Sayles can portray the struggles and joys of being a woman. This is a very modern tale with an all-star cast. Also found a really cool "making of" on the IFC Entertainment podcast that's worth watching -- has interviews with the whole cast and Sayles.

All Star Cast

Another great Sayles film with an all-star cast. If you have ever gone through an adoption, are a parent or simply love children, you will connect with the characters in this film -- all too real. Also fun to see all of these talented actresses together, in one storyline.

Casa de los Babys
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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2004

Customer Ratings