Nothing that occurs is out of the realm of ordinary experience—there is a wedding, a grandmother’s stroke, money troubles, a funeral—yet it all reverberates with meaning because of the camera’s careful attention and the sensitive performances by every actor in the ensemble cast.
On one level, Yi Yi is classic soap opera, with a suicide attempt, a wedding ceremony, even a brutal 11 o'clock news murder, all in the mix. But Yang's direction is so admirably restrained, it lends rich heft to everything.
The word "masterpiece" is thrown around so often in our cultural milieau that it has become trite. Yi Yi is anything but that. In writing this review, I find myself struggling for the words to describe its profundity. Ernest Hemingway once said that the hardest thing to do is to write "straight honest prose about human beings." Yi Yi doesn't write those words, it shows us with each forlorn character isolated in the frame, alone with their thoughts. Those thoughts consume them as they ponder their anxieties that come with their middle class existence - lover's quarrels, social ostracization, etc. Edward Yang's (this would be his final film before his death) use of vibrant contrasts in color are seemingly antithetical to the minimalist approach of Yasujiro Ozu, yet the film is reminiscent of the humanism that could be found in that master director's work, such as in Tokyo Story (1953). Divided only by age, the characters in this film all want for the same thing - life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. However, they cannot see how their shared experiences relate to one another. Their inner focus on the self is a product of an individualistic narcissism that permeates every aspect of modern society. But it's easy enough to try and interpret what Yang was trying to express. Harder still is it to look at those images, as it reflects our own experiences back onto us. In the end you'll weep. Not solely because the ending's emotional weight carries such an immense impact, but because you'll know that you have likely experienced what these characters have gown through, and didn't know how to express it. Yang has done it for you. You need only to watch - and learn.
Yi yi is one of my favorite movies of all time. It is very solid, down to earth, human, real, and interesting. A mix of great small stories woven together about a family, really makes you care about every one of them. No flash, or hollywood nonsense, just great filmmaking.
"The Bible" in the world of film. So many things went wrong in the story of this movie but not a thing that has went wrong in this precious achievement from Edward Yang. The film examines the complexity of the universal themes of guilt and loneliness that "every" human has to face. Life is simple, but it is the profundity that truly constructs the beauty of our life. There might not be something as "future" but only the past- as a lesson and the present to study, tomorrow is only there..waiting to be present time. YiYi A One And A Two is a film full of emotions of our daily life. It reflects those most ordinary circumstances and successfully doubled the meanings and importance through the image which shows the side that ourselves would not be able to confront or even realize. The film that has changed my whole perspective of life.
This is a movie that very slowly enters your heart.
At first I wasn't sure I was totally invested, but before I realised, I was overcome with emotion.
It gradually gives you little moments of pain and happiness that build up to a very emotional conclusion.
It's three hours long and yet it never felt long. It was slow, but never boring.
My favorite scenes where the ones between NJ and Mr. Ota, the japanese bussinessman.
There's something incredible warm and comforting about their conversations that contrast greatly with the more painful relationships in this beautiful film.
I love it.
A nice view on how life unfolds itself and how we're supposed to work ourselves through it, together. With the few happy and the sad moments this film doesn't excite you the way Hollywood does, but rather in a fashion that life does too. Yan Yan was the driving force, for me, in this film. His innocence and simple logic shows that children are sometimes the wisest of all, you shouldn't forget who you are when you grow up and the world isn't more complicated than it pretends or others tell you. Even how people nowadays compare their lives to movies and try so hard to make it one, films like these remind us that art flows from life and concentrates it so it can give back to life. Live today, not tomorrow.
With beautiful and expressive shots, sensitive and eloquent direction, incredible acting by all involved, and a plethora of brilliantly quotable lines, add to that the fact it's considered a "slice-of-life" film, Yi Yi really could have been easily one of my favourite films of all time. Alas, I can't even say that I liked it!
Two main reasons this film didn't resonate with me nearly as much as I expected are that: I didn't find the vast majority of the characters to be interesting, and I couldn't see why this is considered to be a slice-of-life film in the first place.
The only character I was almost constantly interested in is Yang-Yang. I found the relationship between N.J. and Sherry quite absorbing and engrossing as well as the scenes with N.J. and his Japanese friend; I can't say I really cared about the character of N.J. as I was supposed to be.
I couldn't care less about everything related to N.J.'s wife, teenage daughter, brother and business partners. Apart from one scene N.J.'s wife shares with N.J.'s mother that was a bit emotional, I found the film emotionally flat and almost fell asleep every time I see these above-mentioned characters. I found the story-line of Ting-Ting to be one of the most boring and uneventful I've seen in any film. Let alone the fact this film is 3 hours long!
A slice-of-life is a term used to describe a piece of art or literature that shows or depicts the ordinary details of real life. And I'm enamored of any film or novel that can be classified under this, so to speak, sub-genre. The thing is I couldn't see that Yi Yi fits this description. What I saw, in the first 30 minuted in particular, are many of uninteresting characters acting in an absurd way. I really couldn't see that this film has mundane real-life events as most people do.