Ilo Ilo

Film, Drama
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Ilo Ilo

The exquisite family dramas of the late Taiwanese filmmaker Edward Yang (especially 2000’s ‘Yi Yi’) are never far from the mind in Singaporean director Anthony Chen’s feature debut ‘Ilo Ilo’. Chen sets up a quartet of tense, realistic characters barely making it through Asia’s 1997 financial crisis. Teck (Tian Wen Chen) and his wife, Hwee (Yann Yann Yeo), are stinging from the economic bite, the former unable to confess his recent firing. Their wayward ten-year-old son, Jiale (Koh Jia Ler), is a bigger headache than your average Macaulay Culkin tyke, while a new Filipino nanny (Angeli Bayani, the movie’s anchor) accidentally drives a wedge between mother and kid. None of this is pushed into comic relief – the filmmaker lets his drama play out gently and us smile. Bath times become moments for frankness, squabbles spike into fury and forgiveness, and the work of keeping a clan together presses on. The whole thing is a warm beam of compassion.

By: Joshua Rothkopf


Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday May 2 2014
Duration: 99 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Anthony Chen
Screenwriter: Anthony Chen
Cast: Koh Jia Ler
Angeli Bayani
Tian Wen Chen
Yeo Yann Yann
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