Yi Yi ★★★★★

A totally engrossing familial drama that also proposes a romanticized idea of art, and cinema especially, as a catalyst for expanding our consciousness and possibly, even accidentally, making us better people. Each subplot sees a character in the Jian family swimming against a stream of adverse circumstances in an effort to build a life of his or her own, or to atone for past mistakes. The film never provides them with the absolution they seek, but it arrives at the Buddhism-informed hope that it’s possible to live with dignity and purpose in a world built on shame and sorrow. With his often-voyeuristic shots through windows and reflections, and from distant chairs in large banquet halls, Yang draws you into his luscious Taipei and demonstrates genuine respect for his audience. Another all-timer.