Saturday, November 26, 2022

Only now does it occur to me... CASA DE LOS BABYS (2003)

Only now does it occur to me... that I have derived a BLADE RUNNER reference from John Sayles' sensitive and not-at-all science-fiction-related drama, CASA DE LOS BABYS. 

The story of six women (Mary Steenburgen, Lili Taylor, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Marcia Gay Harden, Susan Lynch, and Daryl Hannah) caught in limbo at a Mexican resort, waiting for the paperwork to clear on prospective adoptions, CASA DE LOS BABYS is par for the course in the 'Sayles catalogue': a mosaic of characters, rendered humanistically, and possessing a quiet and universal dignity. 

Of course I'm going to zero in on a moment when Daryl Hannah's character "Skipper"––a Coloradan hippie, who, of all the women, has been waiting the longest––is running along the beach. I couldn't help but feel she was channeling her performance as "Pris," from BLADE RUNNER,

who takes great running leaps as she attacks Harrison Ford with her replicant thighs, fists, sticks her fingers up his nose, etc.

This, you should note, is a stretch. Obviously "Skipper" and "Pris" run in a similar way because they are both portrayed by Daryl Hannah. However, in the following scene, the other women of the Casa are discussing "Skipper" as they wait for her to arrive at lunch.

Soon, a STEPFORD WIVES reference gets dropped and Lili Taylor offers some real (trash) talk.


 "Someday, one of her microchips is gonna misfire." Alright, I've seen enough, I'm calling it: this is an implicit BLADE RUNNER reference!

The Nexus 6 microchips barely ever misfire.

It's also worth noting that Hannah has a long history of Sayles performance, from CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR (whose screenplay Sayles wrote) to SILVER CITY (where she plays another Coloradan hippie in a performance which lightly riffs with her role in CASA DE LOS BABYS). In closing, you should watch this movie for reasons unrelated to BLADE RUNNER; it's a good one.

No comments: