Ilo Ilo


Managed to eke out some time to catch Anthony Chen’s “Ilo Ilo”. As it won the Camera d’Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival and received a 15 minute standing ovation, I had great expectations for this film.

As much as I wanted to like this, I did not. The film felt more like a collection of vignettes to me rather than one whole collective sum of work. Nevertheless, it was fun going back to memory lane.
There were clearly scenes we all could identify with. Playing at the void deck after school when you should be doing your homework, the rowdy family dinners, and how everything can be translated to 4 numbers for the lottery. It’s all very familiar.

What’s your favourite local film? Mine was Eric Khoo’s Be With Me, followed by 12 Storeys. Kelvin Tong’s Eating Air comes in a close second. And even though I felt that Jack Neo could come up with a better grammatically correct title, “I Not Stupid” moved me.

Ilo Ilo got picked as Singapore’s entry in the Best Foreign Language category for next year’s Academy Awards. I feel immensely proud that our little idiosyncrasies can be shared with the rest of the world through Ilo Ilo. And bring home that Oscar!


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