Yi Yi
Edward Yang, 2000

#1, 2000 Skandies

Yi Yi is an ensemble piece, three hours long, that follows several generations and several branches of a Taiwanese family, along with assorted friends and neighbors, as they live through various experiences. Ha ha ha ha! That is so vague. But the movie doesn't really have a premise as such. It's just a big wedge o' life.

Many people have asked why I watched Mike D'Angelo's twelve favorite movies when it quickly became clear that we didn't have very similar tastes. The answer is that I've discovered more movies I've enjoyed through his reviews than through any other single source, and I've also found that when he disagrees with a laudatory consensus, I often agree with him. So, for instance, Yi Yi won the Internet movie geek poll for 2000, but D'Angelo wrote, "Shouldn't a masterpiece exhibit a bit more, I dunno, pizzazz? [...] so relentlessly sedate that I inevitably find myself hoping for the introduction of some ridiculously contrived plot device that might shake their expertly drawn characters out of their stupor [...] If only it took a few more risks, burst out of its measured bubble once in a while, I might feel something stronger than placid admiration." That just about sums it up for me, too.

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