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Snow Falling on Cedars (1999)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 11,592 users   Metascore: 44/100
Reviews: 191 user | 96 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.

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(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Snow Falling on Cedars (1999)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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
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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:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

7 January 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mientras nieva sobre los cedros  »

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

The American flag they showed had 50 states and there were only 48 during the period. See more »

Quotes

Arthur Chambers: That's the thing with girls. They grew up and break your heart.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Horrible Bosses (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

My Blue Heaven
Written by Walter Donaldson, George Whiting
Performed by the Canada Dance Band
(A Sub-Unit of the Canadian Band of the Allied Expeditionary Force)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cedars of Lebanon
7 April 2006 | by (Brooklyn NY USA) – See all my reviews

***SPOILERS*** Beautifully photographer period piece, 1941-1950, about a pre-Pearl Harbor forbidden love affair between a young all-Amerian boy Ishmeal Chambers , Ethen Hawke,and Japanese-American girl Hatsue Imanda, Youki Kudoh. The love affair became an obsession with Ishmeal after Hatsue, with the urging of her Japanese parents, left him for another man Japanese-American and WWII war hero Kazom Yamoto, Rick Yune.

It's now ten years later and Kazom is on trial for the murder of local Washington State fisherman Carl Heine, Eric Thal. Carls family had been involved in a bitter dispute over some land that was taken from Kazoms wife's, Hatsue, family during their interment in a US concentration camp during WWII.

Ishmeal now a reporter for his late fathers Arthur Chambers, Sam Shepard, town newspaper "The Island Review" is covering the Kazom Yamoto murder trial and the emotions that it bring out; Kazom having married his child-hood sweetheart Hatsue, are interfering with his objectivity in reporting the trial.

Defended by local defense attorney Nels Gudmundsson, Max Von Sydon, who has his hands full in trying to keep out the fact that Kazom, who's a highly decorated WWII veteran, being Japanese is somehow through guilt-by-ancestry responsible for the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by the then Japan Tojo government. This line of questioning by the state attorney Alvin Hooks, James Rebhorn, brings the worst out of what the trial of Kazom Yamoto shouldn't be about. Since it has nothing to do with the death, or murder, of Carl Heine but everything to do with the treatment of the Japanese-Americans living on the west coast by the US government during WWII.

Ishmael who was brought up in a very liberal household with his father almost losing his newspaper, due to falling sales, by sticking out his neck after Pearl Harbor in defending the Japanese-Americans in town.In his editorializing against the US government policy of putting them in internment camps and taking away their properties. Now he's doing just the opposite of what his late father did by letting his emotions, in Ishmeal's resentment of Kazom for taking Hatsue away from him, override his sound judgment in that the evidence against Kozom isn't air tight. Ishmeal is also very bitter toward Japanese-Americans Kazom and Hatsue in that he lost his left arm in, what looked like the November 1943 battle of Tarawa,the Pacific fighting as a US Marine against the Imperial Japanese Army.

Eerie drama that grips you like a blistering North Pacific snowstorm and hold your interests for over two hours until the final verdict comes in not just on the fate of Kazom Yamoto but the heart and soul of Ishmeal Chambers. Who's has been greatly hurt by Hatsue rejecting him and then staggeringly traumatized over the trial and the real and dark, reasons behind it. That Ishmeal at first, because of his past and sad experiences with Hatsue blindly and conveniently overlooked.


3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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
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