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Yi Yi (2020)Yi Yi (2020)

Yi Yi (2020)

Life goes on, beautifully and tragically, in Edward Yang’s magnum opus

Drama, Romance

best
THE VERY BEST

9.0

movie

Japan, Taiwan

English, Japanese, Mandarin

Slice-of-Life

2000

Edward Yang

Edward Yang, Jonathan Chang, Kenjiro Tsuda

174 min

Synopsis

Each member of a family in Taipei asks hard questions about life's meaning as they live through everyday quandaries.

Our Take

9.0
Renee Cuisia

Edward Yang’s masterful and lush Yi Yi follows the lives of the Jian family and their respective, middle-class worries. The father agonizes over a business deal and, at the back of his mind, an old flame. The mother struggles with emptiness, the daughter with sensuality, and the son with his burgeoning artistry. In the periphery are other family members trying to get by as best they can despite having no certain future to look forward to. The story, which is bookended with life and death, is punctuated with these lingering anxieties but also, crucially, with moments of potent, profound joys. 

The premise seems simple, but Yang weaves a breathtaking epic out of the mundane. The mise-en-scene is immersive, the dialogue delicate, and the direction effectively real. The understated elegance of each piece coming together to build a rich whole is what makes YiYi Yang’s legacy to the world of cinema.

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