Set in Singapore, Ilo Ilo chronicles the relationship between the Lim family and their newly arrived maid, Teresa. Like many other Filipino women, she has come to this city in search of a better life. Her presence in the family worsens their already strained relationship. Jiale, the young and troublesome son, starts to form a unique bond with Teresa, who soon becomes an unspoken part of the family. This is 1997 and the Asian Financial Crisis is beginning to be felt in the region... Written by
Official submission of Singapore to the Oscars 2014 best foreign language film category. See more »
[pleasantly surprised, laughs]
How come you so clever... you know how to come up here?
It's not I clever, it's you stupid.
[looking over parapet, then in blithe insensitive manner]
The news say the man jump down from here one. But the view so nice, no wonder so many people come here and jump.
[pulls Jiale away from parapet and slaps him, then in emotional tone]
You think killing yourself is so funny, huh?
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Highly authentic portrayal of the average Singapore family
Ilo Ilo did an excellent job of portraying the life of a middle-class Singaporean family. Set during the 1997 financial crisis, it revolves around one family's everyday struggles and their uneasy relationship with their newly hired maid. With both parents busy working, naughty 10- year-old Jia Ler is left to the maid's care. His antics get her into trouble, but they gradually form a close bond. Pregnant with a second child, the mother struggles to cope with the demands of work and family. The father is retrenched and despite all his efforts, is unable to find a job with comparable pay, forcing the family to cut back significantly.
Although there was no proper storyline, the movie was engaging throughout and zoomed in on the struggles that each character faced. Everything was so real. The problems people face haven't changed, even though this was some 15 years ago. Singapore is known globally as a prosperous and affluent city, but few foreigners (even those living in our midst) know what life is like for the average Singaporean family. This movie is the perfect introduction.
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