Snow Falling on Cedars (1999)

Snow Falling on Cedars (1999, USA) C-127m. SCOPE *** D: Scott Hicks. Starring Ethan Hawke, Youki Kudoh, Rick Yune, Max von Sydow, James Rebhorn, James Cromwell, Richard Jenkins, Daniel von Bargen, Max Wright, Sam Shepard, Zeljko Ivanek. Excellent cast in impressive filmization of the novel by David Guterson. In a coastal town of the 1950s, Japanese immigrant Yune is accused of having killed a fisherman. Their private feud and the upcoming anniversary of the Peal Harbor attack work against the defendant. Incidentally, reporter Hawke, who was once in love with Yune's wife, will be the deciding factor in the trial. Beautifully filmed, very well-directed drama loses its focus in the mid-section, and Hawke's character seems a little too weak for being the central one. Still, well-worth watching if only for director Hicks' visual style and sensitive approach. Score by James Newton Howard.


© Ron Altman