A tough but touching and typically insightful film about a diverse bunch of American women staying at an adoption centre somewhere South of the Border, each hoping to be one of the lucky ones who receive a newborn baby. Sayles widens out the drama beyond the six northerners, so that we are also granted an illuminating glimpse into the lives of the clinic's staff and some of the kids who inhabit the nearby streets. Questions of culture, class, economics, education, ethics and faith are explored with a characteristically light touch, with Sayles' wise but witty script allowing everyone their reasons, notwithstanding the occasional bitchiness that arises due to differences in character, attitude and rivalry. The film might be in the tradition of The Women or The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, but it is given a terribly relevant spin for the globalisation era, and it offers an immensely entertaining and intelligent look at life's mad lottery.
Cast and crew
Marcia Gay Harden