John Sayles is a terrific filmmaker. Some of his movies have been MOVIEGUIDE®’s favorites. His latest movie, CASA DE LOS BABYS, is a profound movie that makes some interesting spiritual points, but unfortunately has too many characters and not enough focus.
The movie opens with a woman carrying a baby around a nursery and singing to it. A nun enters and tells the nurse that she spoils the babies. Cut to a woman leaving two children behind in a shack and heading off to work as a cleaning woman at the home where they sell the babies. Next cut to a couple of the women from America discussing what they will do as mothers and complaining about how long it takes to get a baby. One of them is a health nut, Darryl Hannah, another is a whiner, another is a born again Christian that used to be an alcoholic, one is a tough New York publisher, and so forth. Another subplot involves a little boy who lives on the streets, steals, and sniffs glue and paint to survive.
As the movie slowly develops, it becomes clear that there are a lot of scams occurring. Some of the American women have lied about their marriages, income, and abilities, and the house of babies has taken a long time, sometimes months, to provide babies for these women because they’re charging them exorbitant fees to stay there.
Clearly, the born again Christian is the most sympathetic character, but the second most sympathetic character is the one who believes in psychic phenomena. There are many eclectic views presented.
The direction and acting in the individual scenes are very good, but on the whole, director Sayles has tried to deal with too many characters and not enough plot. The movie has no nudity or sex and gets an “extreme caution” because of the foul language.
Please address your comments to:
Joshua Sapan, President/CEO
IFC Films/IFC Entertainment
Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc.
(Independent Movie Channel/IFC Films/Bravo Networks)
200 Jericho Quadrangle
Jericho, NY 11753
Phone: (516) 803-3000
Fax: (516) 803-4616
SUMMARY: CASA DE LOS BABYS is about a group of American women in an unnamed country in Latin America who are staying at an orphanage where they are selling babies for adoption. CASA DE LOS BABYS is a profound movie that makes some interesting spiritual points, but unfortunately has too many characters and not enough focus, plus some strong foul language and brief drug use.
(C, O, Co, LL, V, A, DD, M) Subtle Christian worldview examining the baby trade in South America, as wealthy Americans come down to buy children, and, although a Christian character is the most sympathetic, the second most sympathetic character is one who believes in occult psychic phenomena, and there is one Communist character; 14 obscenities and one profanity; street children spanked by adults; no sex; no nudity; alcohol use; smoking and drug use by street urchins; and, stealing, lying, and revolutionary activities.