Director Anthony Chen has won awards before this film for his shorts including Cannes and Berlin Film Festivals, but this is his first attempt at a feature film. Chen, who was trained at Britain's National Film and Television school, is now winning awards (Best first feature film at Cannes) and praise around the globe for this too.
The story (based on Chen's own life) revolves mainly around the badly behaved Jiale and his relationship with Teresa the impoverished nanny, against the background of the problems imposed on all families in Singapore by the economic crash. As Charlotte O'Sullivan says in the Evening Standard - 'It's tough to go down in the world. This superb drama from Singapore asks what happens when you're already at the bottom?'
“Puts modern Singaporese cinema on the map with this beautifully observed and gently comic family drama”
“Ilo Ilo is filled with sweetness, humour and humanity: so assured and accomplished that it's hard to believe this is a first feature.”
“Shot with extraordinary intimacy and naturalism, and boasting superbly unaffected performances from the core cast”
“Ilo Ilo is a story told with enormous sympathy and flair, and an almost novelistic skill in getting inside the principals' heads. Chen is a real filmmaker to watch”