• PG-13, 2 hr. 7 min.
  • Drama, Romance
  • Directed By:
    Scott Hicks
    In Theaters:
    Dec 22, 1999 Limited
    On DVD:
    May 30, 2000
  • Universal Studios

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Snow Falling on Cedars Reviews

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Alice S

Super Reviewer

June 7, 2007
Beautiful performances, cinematography, editing, and score. BUT I must say watching this film again with a total paranoid cynic who doesn't think films should get wrapped up in the awesomeness of their own beauty has harshed my mellow a bit. The montages and flashback/forward editing ARE slightly self-indulgent and they take time away from the most iconic (3 second) shot of the movie - that of the Japanese internment camp prisoners walking on the docks under a blissfully ignorant American flag. If you're gonna make a statement, damn well make it right!
sainttom93
sainttom93

Super Reviewer

October 23, 2007
This is the first movie I've ever seen that addressed the issue of the Japanese internment during WWII (aside from the fleeting reference in Midway) -- It shows how Childhood friendship pays off in adulthood -- I loved it!
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

May 12, 2007
When an american-japanese fisherman is accused of murdering an childhood friend in the shadow of WWII, Ethan Hawke finds himself trapped in a crisis of conscience when he comes across possible evidence of his innocence. This is a beautifully crafted, very literary period drama in which the courtroom scenes are intercut with flashbacks from the lives of the various protagonists to produce a rich tapestry of motives, prejudices and conflicts of interest that affect their actions. It's beautifully shot in gorgeous snow-laden countryside, with a sensitive and pivotal performance by Youki Kudoh, while Max Von Sydow dominates the courtroom scenes in his inimitable style. It reminded me a little of a chilly English Patient. Except it's good.
Beefy
Beefy

Super Reviewer

May 13, 2007
Gorgeous cinematography. I enjoyed this.
Leigh R

Super Reviewer

November 7, 2006
Nice film.
Mike T

Super Reviewer

February 12, 2008
This movie does minimal justice to a complex, interesting story that could have provided for a much more engaging viewing experience. Photographed with breath-taking prowess, it was fully deserving of its Best Cinematography nomination. That being said, the artificial writing detracts from the visual beauty of the film and leaves the audience feeling cheated. By the end of the film I was sick of the agitating manipulation, muddled structure, lack of character development and a nonstop barrage of cliches. Ethan Hawke and Max von Sydow perform well with the little amount of screen time they have, but the performances surrounding them are almost unanimously wooden and unconvincing. To put it plainly, this is a pretty movie to look at, but there's nothing else there.
Critique Threatt
Critique Threatt

Super Reviewer

July 31, 2012
I really enjoyed watching this film. First off the picture is simply beautiful. Just beautiful. Robert Richardson without a doubt stands alone as the greatest cinematographer of our time. The dark shadows, the fog, the beautiful wintery snow, the slow motions, the deep photography is really captivating. As for the story, well that seems to be the problem..."Snow Falling On Cedars" is about two stories. One it is about the murder of a fisherman that affects a community (reminiscent to Atom Egoyan's "The Sweet Hereafter") and two it is about a simple love story between a Japanese American girl and a Caucasian boy.

One of the problems I think a lot of had while watching this picture is through the editing. Hank Corwin is my fav film editor and here he cuts the story back and fourth through flashbacks giving it a non-linear vibe. It can all be very confusing because everything becomes fractured, things aren't all quite clear and one has to sometimes double back to make sure they have an understanding of the plot. I also felt that the love story between Ishmael Chambers (Ethan Hawke) and Hatsue Miyamoto (Youki Kudoh) felt flat and somewhat boring. I wanted to be close to these characters more then anything, particularly Rick Yune's character since we should be looking at his POV and is a crucial character to the plot. I also felt the picture should have concentrated more on the Japanese community and really getting a sense of their struggles of prejudice/discrimination during those times.

Overall if one doesn't mind what the picture is about and wants to see gorgeous photography and a balletic approach, well then this one's for you. If you have a strong dislike for slow moving plots/lacking characters then look elsewhere. Me personally, this film is a keeper.
jimbotender
jimbotender

Super Reviewer

October 7, 2008
Who would think that after Shine Hicks would fall on mediocrity and boredom?Snow falling on cypress marbles.A metaphor?Probably,a simple flick regarding the prejudice of a noble society?Affirmative but where is the original pleasure and the heart of an auteur?
iLeo
iLeo

Super Reviewer

December 9, 2007
Beautiful movie.
January 3, 2013
well told. a movie that is very much like having a book read to them. may not be something all audiences may like. but i did like it. i saw it when it was in theaters.
August 14, 2008
A well crafted drama from director Scott Hicks (Shine). This movie feautures beautiful cinematography, and solid performances from it's entire cast, including a nice debut performance from Rick Yune as Kazuo Miyamoto. His murder trial is the main setting of the movie, but Ishmael Chambers' (Ethan Hawke) undying life long love for Miyamoto's wife (Youki Kudoh), and the racism against the Japanese because of Pearl Harbor end up being the soul of the film.(B)
yaa111
February 11, 2008
snow falling on cedars is a good
move and is nice too. it tells about a wintry pacific northwest island community in 1950. A fisherman, stands for murder and also love between Ishmael a newspaper reporter and Hatsue the man on trial's wife.
Starring by Anthony Harrison, Ethan Hawke, .....
Directed by Scott Hicks.
ChGeor9
April 24, 2010
Makes wonder the real price we pay for hate and prejudice.
I liked the actors they did their roles very well.
September 9, 2007
Though the film was slow, long, and sometime to the point, boring, the film was visually stunning, a wonderful, yet depressing plot, and the cinematography was just gorgeous. The actings were bearable, but still needed some work.
idg3725
June 21, 2007
If you ever need to get a girl to like you, watch this movie with her; it will soften the hardest hearts.
linketake
May 17, 2007
I was very pleased withthe quality of actors in this movie, and how well it followed the book. That is why I rate this movie so highly.
January 31, 2007
This is a terrible movie that permotes bad history to permote an agenda against people of European descent. This is not to say people of Japanese ancestry had not been interned. But they did impy Italians and Germans had not been singled out and taken from their homes and Italians and Germans had been interned and taken .
January 20, 2007
THe movie was really dark and really really deep, it was ful of pictures instead of dialog. You have to see the meaning in the pictures and what the director was tring to say , b/c he says alot ...
October 17, 2006
This is a great book one I love , but this film just dose not work . Do your self a faver and get the book , you will enjoy it far more then this flim.
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