Singapore, as the Asian economy begins to struggle, and a Filipino woman leaves her own country and family to work as a maid.
She finds herself servant to a downtrodden father, a demanding, heavily pregnant mother and a very unpleasant 10 year old boy, whose attention-seeking behaviour makes his relationships with all the adults very challenging.
But as Teresa settles in, relationships shift as everyone has to adjust to changing circumstances, much like Singapore in its flailing economy.
Reaching the end of the film, I actually want to know how they all fare in the next phase of their lives, which shows how much I became attached to these people, and that the characters are not mere stereotypes or tropes.
The domestic, family-based storyline brings to mind Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda‘s most recent films, and if first-time director Anthony Chen’s future films match this standard, then there is a lot to look forward to.
An intriguing study of family dynamics, class and migration.