"Anthony Chen's portrait of a family in 1997 Singapore is one of those rare films that manages to capture an entire period within an intimate slice of life. Beautifully acted and precisely observed, Ilo Ilo is an amazing debut, full of heart and intelligence."
– Oscar-winning director,
"A small gem about how families learn to persevere during the toughest times...Its emotional wallop sneaks up on you!"
"The very beating heart and soul of cinematic storytelling."
– Film Comment,
Set in Singapore during the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Ilo Ilo chronicles the day-to-day drama of the Lim family - troublesome grade-schooler Jiale and his overstressed parents, Heck and Leng. Comfortably middleclass and with another baby on the way, they hire Teresa, a Filipino immigrant, as a live-in maid and nanny. An outsider in both the family and Singapore itself, Teresa initially struggles to manage Jiale's antics and find her footing in her new community. The two eventually form a unique bond, but just as Teresa becomes an unspoken part of the family, unforeseen circumstances in an uncertain economy will challenge the new normal yet again.
Jeff in Seattle - Customer Review
A family's son is rude, mischievous, and just plain spoiled. When the family decides to hire a maid, he takes his anger out on her. Soon, the two form a close intimate bond while the family's financial status deteriorate with job loss, scam loss, etc. A great film to watch!