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.Read more on variety.com