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1,562 Ratings

Ilo Ilo

Directed by Anthony Chen
Singapore, 2013


In Singapore, the Lim family welcomes 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 son, starts to form a unique bond with Teresa.

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Ilo Ilo Directed by Anthony Chen
Based on Anthony Chen’s own childhood (he spent weeks searching for a location that exactly matched the layout of his family’s old apartment), Ilo Ilo is shot with zero flashy camera work and no musical score. But Chen’s film is more than an artsy map of the tiny cruelties that families inflict on one another, the little diplomacies, the petty slights, and the microscopic revenges. Underneath its deceptively simple surface, it’s packed to the point of exploding with racial and class tension.
September 17, 2014
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The dynamics are just about perfect, and calibrated for a long chain of terrific scenes, like the one where Teck grabs Jiale’s profoundly annoying mobile device and tosses it out the window of the decaying family car. Comedy is inside the movie’s domestic terror, and terror inside its comedy. Chen’s next move should be interesting.
September 02, 2013
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In a time when “vintage” has affected so many productions, making most look like trendy antique shops on screen, Anthony Chen’s reconstruction of the late 90s, thanks to his sense of colors, locations and faces, feels like a heartfelt, lived-through vision. Just as memory works: not as a catalog of objects but as a mix of images, sounds, words and details.
May 22, 2013
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