6.8/10
12,966
196 user 95 critic

Snow Falling on Cedars (1999)

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A Japanese-American fisherman is accused of killing his neighbor at sea. In the 1950s, race figures into the trial. So does reporter Ishmael.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) (as Ron Bass) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Ishmael Chambers
... Hatsue Miyamoto (as Youki Kudoh)
... Young Ishmael Chambers
... Young Hatsue Imada
... Kazuo Miyamoto
... 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

It's 1950 on San Pedro Island in the American Pacific Northwest. Commercial fisher Carl Heine Jr.'s dead body is pulled out of the water in a fishing net by his crew, he who died of head trauma. Kazuo Miyamoto is charged with his murder. Carl and Kazuo were once friends, had known each other since childhood, but WWII has placed a strain on any sort of relationship between the ethic Japanese and Caucasian populations of the area, the Japanese population which was and is still substantial on the island. Carl had motive regarding a land dispute between the two families, land which Carl's mother eventually sold from under the Miyamotos and which Carl had just repurchased. Evidence also points to Kazuo being on the water with Carl probably sometime during his last voyage, evidence which Kazuo knew would put him in a bad light, adding on top of being Japanese, and thus decided not to disclose to the investigating sheriff at the time he was questioned. Kazuo and his wife Hatsue's fear come ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

7 January 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mientras nieva sobre los cedros  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$32,135, 26 December 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$14,378,353, 12 March 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Boats used in the production were provided by the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, Oregon, and can be seen in its permanent collection. See more »

Goofs

When Hatsue and Ishmael are walking on the tree trunks (1:42:35), Ishmael's mouth moves but all that can be heard is incidental music. See more »

Quotes

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

Referenced in Horrible Bosses (2011) 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
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User Reviews

 
Graceful
5 November 2001 | by See all my reviews

This is one of those films that needs to be seen a second time to pick up on the subtleties of the plot. It is a feast for the eyes and features outstanding acting. It also has a sense of balance. It doesn't manipulate its viewer. The murder mystery isn't one that brings in forces that threaten the main character. The forces are prejudice and fear. The adversaries are not people carrying guns but rather the legal system that often overlooked the rights of people of another race or ethnic background. The internment camps are part of the backdrop. I know that people say this is slow, but so is the process these people faced.

I loved the intellectual character of the young man who has to look past his own feeling and try to bring closure to someone he will never be able to have. The transitions are so breathtaking. The winter scenes are a portrait of softness and violence. My wife had read the book upon which this is based and said that the movie might be interesting. Apparently, the producers were unwilling to go the extra mile to get this noticed. It's a gem and deserves to be on a list of very fine movies.


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