Edward Yang’s delicately compassionate domestic drama begins at a wedding and ends at a funeral. In between, Yang has crafted a fully realized, character-driven story that gnaws for nearly three hours on such themes as first love, second chances, regret, spiritual emptiness and moral confusion. This fluid, soapless opera explores the emotional undercurrents after a matriarch of an extended, cosmopolitan Taipei family suffers a stroke and slips into a coma. Several complex themes then seep from a couple’s mid-life reassessment of their relationship and own self-worth, and from the emotional growing pains of their children. The title relates to each character representing a specific stage of life from embryo to coffin.