Starring Wu Nien-jen, Elaine Jin, Issey Ogata, Kelly Lee, Jonathan Chang, Lawrence Ko
Intimate. Absorbing. Unique.
Yi Yi is a sprawling familial epic broken down into a long series of snapshots. The members of the Jian family are depicted: father NJ reunites with an old flame, mother Min-Min retreats after her own mother falls into a coma, teenage daughter Ting-Ting has a crush on her best friend’s boyfriend, and adolescent son, Yang-Yang, deals with bullying at school, while trying to understand the world through pictures. It’s not what I would call fascinating, and yet, eventually, it does absorb, and linger. Edward Yang’s style is difficult, forcing me to be patient, to work to understand the story and its characters. Ultimately, Yi Yi is worth it, and I expect, understanding more, to get more out of it upon second viewing, somewhere down the road.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-