Peter Debruge New York USA South Korea city Seoul North Korea Singapore city Singapore film show opera Peter Debruge New York USA South Korea city Seoul North Korea Singapore city Singapore

‘Ajoomma’ Review: An Older Woman Obsessed With Korean Soap Operas Leaves Her Heart in Seoul

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variety.com

Peter Debruge Chief Film Critic In what plays like Singapore’s answer to “About Schmidt,” never-too-late-to-live dramedy “Ajoomma” follows a widowed housewife as she steps out of her comfort zone by making a solo trip to South Korea.

This upbeat debut from director He Shuming — whose title is the Korean equivalent of all-purpose Asian term of respect “Auntie” — offers longtime TV actor Hong Huifang (“Housewives’ Holiday”) a chance to shine in the title role, which has already netted her a Golden Horse Award nom.

Selected to rep Singapore at the Oscars, affable “Ajoomma” is more of a dark horse in that race, albeit one with art-house sleeper potential.

Mrs. Lim’s life is light on excitement. What it lacks in drama, she fills by binging on Korean soap operas — a not at all uncommon obsession among Asian women (and a growing number of Americans, thanks to services like Kocowa and Viki). “Auntie,” as most of the other characters call Hong’s character, fusses a bit too much over her only son, who long ago agreed to accompany her on a special tour of Seoul.

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