8.1/10
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Yi Yi (2000)

Yi yi (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 16 December 2000 (Japan)
Each member of a middle class Taipei family seeks to reconcile past and present relationships within their daily lives.

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13 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... N.J. (as Nianzhen Wu)
... Min-Min
... Mr. Ota
Kelly Lee ... Ting-Ting
Jonathan Chang ... Yang-Yang
... A-Di (as Xisheng Chen)
... Sherry Chang-Breitner (as Suyun Ke)
... Dada (as Michael Tao)
... Xiao-Yan (as Shushen Xiao)
... Lili (as Adrian Lin)
Pang Chang Yu ... Pangzi (as Yupang Chang)
Ru-Yun Tang ... Grandma (as Ruyun Tang)
Shu-Yuan Hsu ... Mrs. Jiang (as Shuyuan Xu)
Hsin-Yi Tseng ... Yunyun (as Xinyi Zeng)
Yung-Feng Lee ... Migo (as Yungfeng Li)
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Storyline

Each member of a family in Taipei asks hard questions about life's meaning as they live through everyday quandaries. NJ is morose: his brother owes him money, his mother is in a coma, his wife suffers a spiritual crisis when she finds her life a blank, his business partners make bad decisions against his advice, and he reconnects with his first love 30 years after he dumped her. His teenage daughter Ting-Ting watches emotions roil in their neighbors' flat and is experiencing the first stirrings of love. His 8-year-old son Yang-Yang is laconic like his dad and pursues truth with the help of a camera. "Why is the world so different from what we think it is?" asks Ting-Ting. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Release Date:

16 December 2000 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Yi Yi  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,456, 8 October 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,136,776
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Issei Ogata's English dialog was re-written and even improvised during the shooting by Ogata himself. Yang wanted to have his Japanese character speaking realistically, not in the stereotypical manner Japanese characters in English-speaking films often do. See more »

Quotes

Ota: Why are we afraid of the first time? Every day in life is a first time. Every morning is new. We never live the same day twice. We're never afraid of getting up every morning. Why?
See more »

Connections

References Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

All My Best
Composed by Kai-Li Peng
Performed by Kai-Li Peng
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User Reviews

 
breathtaking
21 May 2001 | by See all my reviews

Films like American Beauty give rise to a huge amount of hype, they are hailed as being intelligent and having things to say. The reason that they stand out so much is that in the multiplexes in which they are shown, the cause of their difference to the family comedies and juvenile violence, is by actually having something called 'Character Development'.

This would appear to be a foreign issue to the majority of film makes. But luckily for some cinema goers, it is not a foreign area for people like Edward Yang. 'Yi Yi' is an exquisite observation of a family in which all the ages are represented at varying stages of life. From the father struggling to retain his sense of thinking that work is still important, his wife struggling with the illness of her mother. And his children learning in their own ways about what life has to offer, both of which like everyone else in the film are superbly acted.

Life rolls through every one of these characters and the annoying stereotypes that to a certain extent ruined American Beauty, for me anyway, are not here. Every character is superbly drawn and fantastically beautiful. For some people no doubt this film would be hell. Three hours of dialogue and a story which purports to show nothing more than life being lived. It is a great example of the art of writing however, that the characters remain with us long after the film has finished.

Although the entire cast was terrific one performance, for me, rose above the norm. It was Issey Ogata in the role of the cutting edge games designer Ota. His speech of our fear of newness when surely every day is unique really did take my breath away. It is a superbly shot film but the editing is excellent. So many times there were cross-fertilisation of ideas and story strands. When we could see the same relationship being played out in three very different stages amongst the members of the same family.

People may complain that maybe not a lot happens, that people don't really go anywhere and nothing is resolved. To me, however, this is a slice of life. Of all of our lives as we try to make sense not only of those around us but of ourselves. The closest recent film that i have seen to this is 'Magnolia' and while i would certainly recommend that whole-heartedly, there have been very few films that i have felt so accurately portrayed people as being people as 'Yi Yi'.

This is a film that reminds me of how good films can be. It also reminds me of how lucky I am to be able to enjoy and appreciate being moved by three hours of skill and effort. Simply breathtaking.


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