A work of extraordinary synchronicity, empathy and narrative control, Yi Yi is like a particularly fine timepiece, as fascinating for the way it functions as the way it is formed. Once again, Yang probes the conflicts and anxieties of life in Taiwan, but this time through the prism of family. Middle-aged businessman NJ (wonderfully played by Wu Nien-Jen, one of the key screenwriters of the New Taiwan Cinema) is having personal and professional crises—his computer firm is in flux and he's just reconnected with an old girlfriend. Meanwhile, Grandma has had a stroke, for which NJ’s daughter blames herself; his wife runs off to a religious retreat; and his son is having trouble adjusting to it all, perhaps because he's a genius. Winner of Best Director at Cannes, Yi Yi would be remarkable if only for the nuanced performances or for the delicacy of the narrative or for the gentleness and affection with which Yang considers his characters. Together, these ingredients make it both irresistible and overwhelming.
“Mr. Yang's style is like a novelist's prose—lucid, unobtrusive and absorbing. Yi Yi…is the work of a master in full command of the resources of his art.” —A.O. Scott, The New York Times