Knox Morris’s review published on Letterboxd:
Yi Yi is a tapestry of emotion. It relies not on plot, but the feelings of its characters at particular times, and what effect that has on every future moment in the cycle of life. To some respects it is as simple as an Ozu film, but also as complex as poetry. It utilizes both artistic forms for effectiveness.
Despite its lack of “big” dramatic scenes or melodrama, it never lags. Like The Godfather or Nashville, the three hour runtime seems to be indispensable, as the artist must convey emotions over the course of time. It seems concerned not with a means to an end but more with what is an end, when the only finality we know as fact is death.
Edward Yang achieves with this film what could be called an impossible act: creates a perfect film that helps explain cinema and asks more questions about life. Because in the end, there is no way to truly understand life.