christopher’s review published on Letterboxd:
A beautiful yet melancholy meditation on life that moves at the speed of life, Yi Yi offers a deceptively complex narrative that takes deep breaths, allowing you to reflect on regret and the meaning and purpose of your own existence while observing the characters within the film do the same. While watching it I also found myself dealing with an internal debate, as to how one should watch a film that demands a sort of humanistic approach to appreciating it. I watched this in the middle of a Spielberg marathon, so my brain is currently wired for less demanding films that aspire to entertain more than to make you think. This was cause for some difficulty during the first half of Yi Yi as the film doesn’t seek to entertain or play by any rules required for populist media to succeed. It’s a fully realized and realistic universe that asks many questions and doesn’t provide concrete answers. It also doesn’t present these questions in an obvious way, so when I felt myself getting bored I began to feel disappointed with myself, because I knew the weakness in these moments was due to my own inability to concentrate on something presented delicately and realistically. Eventually I came around and Yi Yi blossomed into something so gorgeous and heart wrenching that I finally understood why it’s appreciated by many. I don’t really know how to end this review, but I understand that it doesn’t matter, because regardless of what I say here things will most likely turn out the same.