MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 1,313 this week

Snow Falling on Cedars (1999)

6.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 11,401 users   Metascore: 44/100
Reviews: 191 user | 97 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

A Japanese-American fisherman may have killed his neighbor Carl at sea. In the 1950's, race figures in the trial. So does reporter Ishmael.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 35 titles
created 16 Feb 2012
 
a list of 38 titles
created 28 Feb 2012
 
a list of 45 titles
created 03 Jun 2012
 
list image
a list of 48 titles
created 15 Jul 2012
 
a list of 43 titles
created 11 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Snow Falling on Cedars (1999)

Snow Falling on Cedars (1999) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Snow Falling on Cedars.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A widower is determined to get to the bottom of a potentially explosive secret involving his wife's murder, big business, and corporate corruption.

Director: Fernando Meirelles
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Hubert Koundé
Dead Again (1991)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Mike Church is a Los Angeles private detective who specializes in finding missing persons. He takes on the case of a mystery woman who he calls Grace. She is suffering from amnesia and has ... See full summary »

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Andy Garcia
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In turn-of-the-century Vienna, a magician uses his abilities to secure the love of a woman far above his social standing.

Director: Neil Burger
Stars: Edward Norton, Jessica Biel, Paul Giamatti
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A bookish CIA researcher finds all his co-workers dead, and must outwit those responsible until he figures out who he can really trust.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson
Birth (2004)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A young boy attempts to convince a woman that he is her dead husband reborn.

Director: Jonathan Glazer
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Cameron Bright, Lauren Bacall
Original Sin (2001)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A young man is plunged into a life of subterfuge, deceit and mistaken identity in pursuit of a femme fatale whose heart is never quite within his grasp. Remake of François Truffaut's 1969 film 'Mississippi Mermaid'

Director: Michael Cristofer
Stars: Antonio Banderas, Angelina Jolie, Thomas Jane
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A color-blind psychiatrist Bill Capa is stalked by an unknown killer after taking over his murdered friend's therapy group, all of whom have a connection to a mysterious young woman that Capa begins having intense sexual encounters with.

Director: Richard Rush
Stars: Bruce Willis, Jane March, Rubén Blades
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An older British reporter vies with a young U.S. doctor for the affections of a beautiful Vietnamese woman.

Director: Phillip Noyce
Stars: Michael Caine, Brendan Fraser, Do Thi Hai Yen
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A law student uncovers a conspiracy, putting herself and others in danger.

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Sam Shepard
Chocolat (2000)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid morality of the community.

Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina
The Others (2001)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A woman who lives in a darkened old house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that her family home is haunted.

Director: Alejandro Amenábar
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Fionnula Flanagan
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A congressional candidate questions his sanity after seeing the love of his life, presumed dead, suddenly emerge.

Director: Keith Gordon
Stars: Billy Crudup, Bill Haugland, Nelson Landrieu
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Hatsue Miyamoto
...
Anne Suzuki ...
...
...
Nels Gudmundsson (as Max Von Sydow)
...
Alvin Hooks
...
Judge Fielding
...
Sheriff Art Moran
...
Susan Marie Heine
...
Carl Heine Jr.
...
Etta Heine
...
Carl Heine Sr. (as Daniel Von Bargen)
...
Hisao Imada
...
Fujiko Imada
Edit

Storyline

Carl, a fisherman in the waters off Washington state, has been found dead, drowned in his own nets, but with a serious head wound. Was he murdered? Post-war anti-Japanese sentiments are still running high, and a murder suspect is found in the local Japanese-American community in the form of Kabuo, another fisherman, who had a grudge against Carl's family. Ishmael, the small town's newspaperman, may have the information that would acquit Kabuo, but can he ever put his jilted love for Hatsue (Kazuo's wife) aside? Written by Martin Lewison <mlewison@utk.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

First loves last. Forever. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for disturbing images, sensuality and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

7 January 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Snow Falling on Cedars  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$36,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£30,243 (UK) (12 May 2000)

Gross:

£30,243 (UK) (12 May 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of the extras in the scene where the Japanese are sent to internment camps were Japanese-Americans who had actually been sent to the camps in the 1940s. See more »

Goofs

One scene shows a Coast Guard Petty Officer wearing a peacoat. His peacoat has his insignia of rank (red chevrons and white eagle) on the outside of the left sleeve. The US Navy and presumably the Coast Guard did not adopt the policy of wearing the insignia on the sleeve of the peacoat until the mid 1960s. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sheriff Art Moran: So did any more of you guys see Carl out of ship channel bank last night?
Ishmael Chambers: What do you want to know for?
Sheriff Art Moran: Only to see if somebody talked to him.
Ishmael Chambers: Just went sour on me when the fog rolled. I got the hell out of there.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Spotlight on Location: Snow Falling on Cedars (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Would You
Written by Johnny Burke, Jimmy Van Heusen
Performed by Bing Crosby
Courtesy of MCA Records under License from Universal Music Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

flawed but rewarding film
3 June 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

`Snow Falling on Cedars' stands as one of the most visually ravishing films of the past several years. Beautifully attuned to the natural splendor of its Washington State locale, the film actually converts its setting into one of the major characters in the film. Nature, in the form of topography, flora and weather, seems to exert, if only subliminally, as much influence on the people involved as their own actions and passions. However, there is always a drawback to a movie being so closely tied to its physical environment: very often the background advances to the foreground, ultimately overwhelming and dwarfing the human figures that should be our primary focus. Almost inevitably then, `Cedars' itself falls victim to this syndrome from time to time. Despite many intriguing elements in its narrative, we do come away remembering far more the stunning landscapes of rugged stone mountains, fog-enshrouded lakes and endless rows of snow-covered cedars than the characters at the story's core. Still, the film offers enough interest in the story and personalities to keep `Snow Falling on Cedars' relatively intriguing for the majority of its (admittedly overlong) 128-minute running time.

Set in 1950, the film chronicles the effect a mysterious death of a local fisherman has on the populous of a small island community made up mostly of whites and Japanese Americans, a death that, for complicated reasons, awakens many of the racial prejudices still holding over from the recently concluded war. As a Japanese man stands trial for the `murder,' Ishmael Chambers (Ethan Hawke), a mediocre reporter for the local paper, copes with three basic issues: his unrequited love for the defendant's Japanese wife, the flaring-up of anti-Japanese bigotry in both the past and the present, and haunting memories of his deceased father, a socially crusading newspaper publisher, in whose shadow Ishmael toils and against whose professional reputation Ishmael is tested and found wanting.

The film is definitely at its most emotionally powerful in its superb middle section, which beautifully dramatizes, in flashback, the shameful deportation of these Japanese-American citizens to interment camps in California, for no crime more serious than simply being of Japanese descent. Parallels to the rounding up of Jews in Nazi Germany are never far from our minds as we witness this wholesale forced migration of a group of innocent people singled-out to assuage the prejudice and fear of an ignorant but powerful majority. For these scenes alone, the film is most assuredly worth seeing.

Unfortunately, the rest of the film cannot sustain this same intensity of deep emotional conviction. The forbidden interracial childhood romance between Ishmael and Hatsue, the current wife of the man on trial, smacks a bit too much of tired Romeo and Juliet melodramatics. Furthermore, Ishmael seems underdeveloped as a character, too dreamy-eyed and passive, just the kind of character that can be easily swallowed up in a film in which the background plays such a prominent part. Moreover, the easy wrap-up of the trial is woefully unconvincing and unsatisfying both as realism and as drama.

On the positive side, `Snow Falling on Cedars' boasts a fascinating dual-level structure, in which small snippets of information are introduced to us in the form of near-subliminal quick cuts representing memories or speculations on past events, often, oddly, those at which none of the characters involved in the current scene were even present. This latter inconsistency in the film's point-of-view may seem dubious and questionable from a strictly narrative standpoint, but the format does help to flesh out the story and characters in interesting and intriguing ways, intensifying the mystery as we attempt to piece it all together to finally get a view of the whole picture. Director Scott Hicks, along with his co-writer Ron Bass, succeeds in providing a richly detailed glimpse into a shameful episode in American history - and the lyrical quality achieved through Robert Richardson's outstanding cinematography helps the film override some of its more obvious flaws. If one brings an attitude of patience and a fine eye for natural beauty to the film, `Snow Falling on Cedars' turns out to be quite rewarding, especially for those misguided misfits who still, at this late date, justify and defend the actions taken against the American Japanese during the war. This film is a stunning rebuttal to both them and their idiotic notions. For that aspect alone, `Snow Falling on Cedars' demands to be seen.


9 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I LOVE this movie, but... queen_supreme-1
too many flashbacks spookvile0803
hatsue never love ismael? antiquegirl12
Hatsu Jen175
love this movie natz62
End of Movie spikedmort
Discuss Snow Falling on Cedars (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?