Yi Yi ★★★★★

Complex and kaleidoscopic family drama. To me Yang's greatest strengths as a filmmaker are his ability to show a tremendous range of human experience and to create so many fleshed out characters within a film. It feels like you get to know these people and there are so many of them that it's really quite an accomplishment. The long runtime of course helps this but it's much more than that- each of their everyday struggles offer more and more insight and culminate into several knockout emotional scenes. The father leaving his old flame a voicemail followed by the mother's breakdown with the neighbors fighting in the background is to me the best example of these types of scenes, a primary strength of the film. The visual style of the film is another high point. I loved the various ways shots through windows were used in this film: obscuring the view inside, contrasting images from outside and inside, transitioning to a shot of the city by closing the blinds, and many other uses I'm probably forgetting. The performances as well were basically perfect across the board with Nien-Jen Wu as NJ giving the best one of the bunch. Doesn't quite match A Brighter Summer Day but I do think this is another masterpiece from Yang.