Yi Yi (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

Yi Yi (2000)



Critic Consensus: In its depiction of one family, Yi Yi accurately and expertly captures the themes and details, as well as the beauty, of everyday life.

Yi Yi Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Master Taiwanese director Edward Yang spins this intricate and complex yarn about life's everyday crises. The film focuses on N.J. Jian (Wu Nien-Jen, a noted writer/director in his own right); his wife, Min-Min (Elaine Jin); and their two children, teenager Ting-Ting (Kelly Lee) and young Yang-Yang (Jonathan Chang). Their middle-class existence seems stable and secure until a series of incidents throws all of their lives out of kilter. The misfortunes start at the wedding of Min-Min's ne'er-do-well brother, Ah-Di (Chen Xisheng), when his jilted ex-girlfriend Yun-Yun (Tseng Hsin-yi) bursts into the proceedings and lambastes the bride. Upset by the ruckus and feeling unwell, Min-Min's mother goes home early only to suffer a stroke and slip into a coma. After the wedding, N.J. runs into his first love, Sherry (Ke Suyun), who is married to a rich American. This chance encounter shakes N.J. to his very foundations, forcing him to reevaluate his life. At the same time, N.J.'s computer company deliberates on whether or not to collaborate with a renowned Japanese games designer, Ota (Issey Ogata), sending N.J. to Japan to negotiate a contract. Confronted by her mother's coma, Min-Min also takes stock of her life and finds it lacking. On the brink of a nervous breakdown, she suddenly joins a religious retreat. In Japan, N.J. warms to his potential business partner Ota, spending long evenings discussing life and love in hip Tokyo jazz clubs. There, N.J. also meets up with Sherry; they relive old memories and flirt with infidelity. At the same, Ting-Ting, who quietly blames herself for her grandmother's coma, learns her first hard lessons about love, while Yang-Yang causes trouble at school and wrestles with the truths of the adult world. This film won the Golden Palm for Best Direction at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival and was an official selection for the 2000 Toronto Film Festival.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Edward Yang
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 8, 2001
Winstar Cinema


Nien-Jen Wu
as NJ Jian
Jonathan Chang
as Yang-Yang
Elaine Jin
as Min-Min
Ke Suyun
as Sherry
Kelly Lee
as Ting-Ting
Issei Ogata
as Mr. Ota
Xiao Shushen
as Xiao Yan
Xu Shuyuan
as Lili's Mother
Zeng Xinyi
as Yun-Yun
Xiao Sushen
as Xiao Yan
Ru-Yun Tang
as Min-Min's Mother
Wu Jie
as Wu Jie
Shu Guozhi
as Shu Ge
Leon Dai
as Liren
You Meiyun
as NJ's Neighbor
You Qidong
as Xiao Yan's Uncle
Ke Yulun
as Young Soldier
Chen Lihua
as Lili's English Tutor
Yiwen Chen
as Policeman
Song Shaoqing
as Young Banker
Luo Bei-an
as Boss Huang
Antonio Lee Klatt
as Piano Bar Pianist
Danny Deng
as A-Di's Friend
Fan Reijun
as A-Di's Friend
Cheng Jianxiong
as A-Di's Friend
Zhen Yuancheng
as A-Di's Friend
Cai Ruying
as A-Di's Friend
Sun Fajun
as A-Di's Friend
Jay Miao
as A-Di's Friend
Tang Congsheng
as Punk at NY Bagel Caf...
Wang Qizan
as Punk at NY Bagel Caf...
Li Jianchang
as Punk at NY Bagel Caf...
Kenjiro Tsuda
as Robata Restaurant Wa...
Wu Weining
as The `Concubine'
Xu Guiying
as NJ's Secretary
Allen Lu
as Mrs. Jiang's Boyfrie...
Yang Shiping
as Grandma's Doctor
Ye Ziyan
as Grandma's Doctor
Jinhua Yang
as Doctor's Wife
Li Wanyun
as Xiao Yan's Assistant
Lin Xiaowei
as Xiao Yan's Assistant
Wu Yi-ting
as The Baby
Xu Wenjuan
as Da-Da's Wife
Wang Zheng-Kai
as Security Guard
Xie Nianzu
as Policeman
Chen Shiqi
as Yang-Yang's Classmat...
Xiang Guangting
as Yang-Yang's Classmat...
Lin Yanchun
as Yang-Yang's Classmat...
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News & Interviews for Yi Yi

Critic Reviews for Yi Yi

All Critics (89) | Top Critics (25)

Life-affirming in the most genuine, respectful and least mechanical sense.

Full Review… | May 21, 2001
Toronto Star
Top Critic

The artistry is undeniable -- tough insights blended with graceful compassion, gloomy certainties flecked with rays of hope.

Full Review… | May 14, 2001
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

A marvel of delicacy and humor.

May 8, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

This intimate family portrait peels away layer after layer of unspoken truth and hidden life.

Full Review… | April 26, 2001
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Blending the Coen Brothers' karmic rubicon with Robert Altman's ensemble heart, "Yi Yi" scratches the identifiable itch to reach out for what we've loved, set free and had come back, perhaps still not meant to be: jobs, lovers, freedoms, opportunities.

Full Review… | December 15, 2010

One of the best films of the decade, Yi Yi, Edward Yang's most accessible (and very last) film is a fluent, charming and precise family portrait that celebrates ordinary life with all its joys and chaos.

Full Review… | December 29, 2009

Audience Reviews for Yi Yi

Much much duller than I had anticipated but strangely, thoroughly watchable. Everything hits you later, in your bed, hours after you finish the film. Its premise is extremely simple but it's a very portrait of a family, their neighbors, and their loves.

Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

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? I'm still puzzling over the authenticity of this line from Mr. Ota. I'm not altogether sure this movie supports his assertion. In other words, I'm thinking his statement may be ironic given the way this film goes. Aside from a kind of surprising murder that I'm also still puzzling over, this is a very gentle and fairly objective examination of the very partially understood nature of the lives we live. The difference between what we can do to direct our lives and the way that our lives become directed by forces outside ourselves and often beyond our control is examined in the lives of many characters in this film. Perhaps even more important is the idea that we cannot understand our lives fully, no matter how hard we may try to do so. The clock is ticking loudly here, and it is impossible to slow down our being swept up in the forward movement of time. For most of us, we do the best we can, with what little time we have, and with what little we know or understand of our lives, and we hope for the best.

Lanning : )

Super Reviewer

Cute and inspiring without being cloying. It doesn't feel artificial and therefore can serve as an example to Hollywood on how to make a truly moving picture.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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