Relative Terms

Taiwan's Yi Yi (A One and a Two...) is a more inclusive family drama than Hollywood's universal pictures

Live and learn: Jonathan Chang in Yi Yi (A One and a Two...)
Live and learn: Jonathan Chang in Yi Yi (A One and a Two...)

And who will hear the universal message of Yi Yi, I wonder, besides those relatively few of us who've been waiting a year since Yang won the Best Director award at Cannes? Already the Star Tribune has marshaled its readership by referring to Yi Yi as "one of the two best movies ever to come out of Taiwan" (never mind the entire oeuvres of Hou and Tsai), albeit misattributing the film's yearlong delay to the success of the other--Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, of course. And so be it. If the Strib flippantly links a meditative melodrama to an action blockbuster that's "Taiwanese" mainly by virtue of the source of some of its financing (imagine calling Pearl Harbor and The Golden Bowl "the two best movies ever to come out of America"), maybe it'll encourage some of that 99 percent to venture outside their comfort zone. Which, it turns out, is the universal message of Yi Yi.

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