Snow Falling on Cedars (1999)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Romance  |  7 January 2000 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 12,181 users   Metascore: 44/100
Reviews: 194 user | 95 critic | 31 from

A U.S. Japanese fisherman may have killed his neighbor Carl at sea. In the 1950s, race figures into the trial. So does reporter Ishmael.



(novel), (screenplay) (as Ron Bass) , 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Hamlet (2000)
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Modern-day New York City adaptation of Shakespeare's immortal story about Hamlet's plight to avenge his father's murder.

Director: Michael Almereyda
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Kyle MacLachlan, Diane Venora
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Valentino is an Ex Adult film star very much in love with his girlfriend Mary Carmen....and boyfriend Gary. Things take a tragic turn when Valentino is rushed to the hospital after ... See full summary »

Director: Dan Ireland
Stars: Vincent D'Onofrio, Salma Hayek, Thomas Jane
Rich in Love (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Charleston, South Carolina. The Odoms have lived a life of the traditions of the American south in their longtime, large family beach front home. That tradition is turned upside down when ... See full summary »

Director: Bruce Beresford
Stars: Albert Finney, Jill Clayburgh, Kathryn Erbe
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A satire about desperate hustling, pop philosophy and big money.

Director: David Salle
Stars: Griffin Dunne, Dennis Hopper, Jason Ferraro
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A failed New Jersey inventor embarks on a career as a standup comic, turns to drink, and labors to keep his family together.

Director: Frank Whaley
Stars: Frank Whaley, Carla Gugino, Ethan Hawke
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Howard Spence (Sam Shepard) has seen better days. Once a big Western movie star, he now drowns his disgust for his selfish and failed life with alcohol, drugs and young women. If he were to... See full summary »

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Sam Shepard, Jessica Lange, Tim Roth
Joe the King (1999)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A disadvantaged, abused, neglected, exploited but basically decent kid slips into criminality while trying to cope with his harsh, inescapable reality.

Director: Frank Whaley
Stars: Noah Fleiss, Karen Young, Camryn Manheim
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The story of the Newton gang, the most successful bank robbers in history, thanks to their good planning and minimal violence.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Ethan Hawke, Skeet Ulrich
Mystery Date (1991)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A teenage boy would like to meet with a very pretty, blonde girl who lives in the next door. His elder brother helps him with car and credit card to be successful. This simple story will be... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Wacks
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Teri Polo, Brian McNamara
Floundering (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In this scathing and subversive social comedy, life in post riot Los Angeles is dissected under the sardonic eye of John Boyz, an unemployed thirty nothing flounderer on Venice Beach who is... See full summary »

Director: Peter McCarthy
Stars: James Le Gros, Shaka, Zander Schloss
Reality Bites (1994)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Generation X Graduates face life after college with a filmmaker looking for work and love in Houston.

Director: Ben Stiller
Stars: Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Janeane Garofalo
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Louis Coline assists the head of advertising of a department store in decline. He has little to do, but seems content with his marriage to Nina, his visits to his mother and grandmother, ... See full summary »

Director: Pierre Granier-Deferre
Stars: Michel Piccoli, Gérard Lanvin, Nathalie Baye


Cast overview, first billed only:
Hatsue Miyamoto (as Youki Kudoh)
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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


From the director of 'Shine' See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



| |

Release Date:

7 January 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mientras nieva sobre los cedros  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$36,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$32,135 (USA) (24 December 1999)


£30,243 (UK) (12 May 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The accused's name in the novel was Kabuo Miyamoto, while in the movie it was changed to Kazuo. See more »


The movie is set in the Pacific Northwest. Twice, shots are shown of the Portland (Maine) Head Light which is on the Atlantic coast. See more »


Nels Gudmundsson: It takes a rare thing, a turning point, to free oneself from any obsession. Be it prejudice or hate, or, even love.
See more »


Referenced in Horrible Bosses (2011) See more »


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

Almost perfect
23 January 2000 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

Adapting this novel with its tricky, time-shifting narrative was always going to be a big task, but Scott Hicks' sumptuous and elegant film very nearly pulls it off. Hicks and co-writer Ron Bass move quickly into the courtroom and wisely use the trial to drive the plot, telling the backstory - the real story in this case - through a finely-woven complex of flashbacks. The difficulty is that this story is a rich, long and emotional tale which requires a fair degree of exposition for it to be satisfying. The screenplay is superbly economical in this regard, but there is no escaping the fact that the only way to cover so much ground in a film of tolerable length is to fly over it at 30,000 feet. The necessarily distant treatment this requires occasionally dilutes the emotional force which would have come from a more thorough and leisurely telling. Hicks strives valiantly to compensate with a powerfully emotive score - this works, but it doesn't always hit the mark. Rather than engendering emotion, James Newton Howard's musical is often so insistently overpowering that it locks the audience out. On occasions I felt strangely alienated by a wall of sound when I knew I should have been in tears. But that's a minor flaw in an otherwise excellent production. Overall, this is an intelligent and considered adaptation - probably the best that could be made from a novel which would have been incredibly difficult to bring to the screen. It's solidly acted, immaculately lit, and offers some of the most achingly beautiful imagery to illuminate the screen in years (the opening shots are magnificent). Most rewarding of all is the fact that Scott Hicks takes some real stylistic risks with this film. They don't always pay off, but when they do it's magical.

27 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
too many flashbacks spookvile0803
I LOVE this movie, but... queen_supreme-1
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: