Casa De Los Babys


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA/Mexico, 2003, .  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by John Sayles.  Toronto International Film Festival 2003

Six women stay at a resort in Mexico, some for months on end, waiting for the paperwork to come through on their adoptions of orphan children, while their hotel manager () is desperate to accommodate them without going crazy or killing her political upstart of a son. John Sayles has concocted another loosely plotted, sharply observant character study about a country living in an economic depression and selling its own children as its most successful export. Like Limbo, the film ends abruptly in a way that will infuriate some viewers, but not before giving each of its stars a chance to shine.   is scary as an uptight, pathological liar who seems to need a child to recover her own happiness, gives her best performance in years as a paranoid New Yorker who’s on to everybody, is perfectly exquisite as a health fanatic who is adopting as a way to make up for her own children that she lost, is wonderful as the young rich woman who is trying to patch up her failing marriage with a baby, and is lovely as a ex-alcoholic born-again Christian who doesn’t seem to mind anybody. The show-stealing moments, however, come from two wonderful monologues delivered by the sixth woman waiting for her child, played by , who delivers her dream of motherhood to a non-Anglophone maid ( of Limbo), and then listens to Martinez speak of her child in Spanish. Although these two don’t understand each other’s languages, their feeling for motherhood is a universal concept, and this is put across beautifully without mawkish sentiment.


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