Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
A stirring exploration of the overwhelming desire for motherhood, the whims of fate, clashing cultures and what happens when exporting children becomes part of a country's economy.
Sayles, a rare screenwriter who consistently creates thoughtful roles for grown-up women, has outdone himself here.
Eschewing all sentiment, avoiding all pathos, keeping his film and most of the women hard as nails, [Sayles] manages to tell a compelling story.
New York Times:
The movie's even-handed portrayal of two cultures uneasily transacting the most personal business resonates with truth.
[Sayles] does more showing than his usual telling, without forsaking his interest in people and the histories and societies that have created their problems.
Los Angeles Times:
While we'd like it if the film had managed to be less schematic, had succeeded in fulfilling its sociological aims in more humanistic terms, we're willing to cut it slack because it sometimes seems no one else is even trying.
There isn't a moment with this group you don't want to be watching, yet the dialogue floats by in wisps.
Dallas Morning News:
[Casa de los Babys] wanders and stumbles in search of a center, but it finds plenty of goods along the way.
A lean yet unconvincing character study set in an unnamed South American country.
Gets bogged down in bad dialogue, wasted acting and the most un-Saylesian thing of all, outright ignorance.
New York Observer:
I spent most of the 95-minute running time of Casa trying to distinguish between some of the actresses from my previous image of them.
Each woman is a cardboard cutout, and the talented actresses here seem boxed in by their roles.
Admittedly, mediocre Sayles is still watchable, but, relative to expectations, Casa de los Babys is a disappointment of significant proportions.
Sayles sees like a documentarian, showing us the women, listening to their stories, inviting us to share their hopes and fears and speculate about their motives.
San Francisco Chronicle:
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.
Globe and Mail:
Its greatest achievement is to insist that we, the relatively lucky, do what fear and pride seldom allow us to do -- to venture back to life's opening scene, respinning the wheel and replaying the lottery.
In this single film, [Sayles] includes more vividly drawn female characters than I've seen in a year's worth of major releases.
A powerfully written, well-acted movie that tackles an unusual and compelling subject.
The screenplay's clutchy banter (interspersed with arias of teary confession) feels distinctly Oprah, but Sayles extracts unexpected life from his wooden setups.
If Casa de los Babys isn't necessarily a fully realized film, it's still a deeply felt glimpse into dizzyingly complex political and psychological forces that shape the most crucial decisions of a woman's life.
For all his patient, accumulative storytelling, Sayles yields little that doesn't feel trite or overly schematic.