Ilo Ilo

Ilo Ilo

Anthony Chen (2013)

95min
12A Certificate
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Review

Our Score
The winner of the Caméra d'Or at Cannes, this drama about a Filipino maid working for a family from hell is vivid, touching and sensationally acted. We're in Singapore in the recession-hit late 1990s, where tough, professional and kindly migrant worker Terry (Angeli Bayani) is hired to keep house for a rude, thoughtless family comprising a spiteful, petty wife (Yann Yann Yeo), a boorish stupid husband (Tian Wen Chen) and a spectacularly foul child (Jialer Koh). Like a more economically realistic version of Mary Poppins, minus the tunes, writer/director Anthony Chen's drama observes as Terry works a kind of magic on the furious problem child, even as the lasso of financial hardship tightens around his parents. If it sounds cloying, it isn't. Nor is it a screed against exploitative capitalism. It's too acutely observed and humane for that. And here, the actors, remarkable all round, really come into their own.

Summary

Premiere. A couple in Singapore employ a Filipino immigrant as a maid. While they initially struggle with having a stranger in the house, she ultimately becomes a firm friend to her employers and particularly to their troubled son. However, a financial crisis leaves her facing an uncertain future. Drama, starring Yann Yann Yeo and Tian Wen Chen. In Mandarin, Tagalog, English and Hokkien.

Cast & Crew

Teresa Angeli Bayani
Jialer Jialer Koh
Teck Tian Wen Chen
Leng Yann Yann Yeo
Discipline Master Peter Wee
Director Anthony Chen
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Other Information

Language: Mandarin, Tagalog, English, Hokkien +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Soda PicturesGuidance: Some violence, swearing.Released on: 2 May 2014
Drama