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Snow Falling On Cedars

The book Snow Falling On Cedars was made into the movie Snow Falling On Cedars.

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Book details for Snow Falling On Cedars

Snow Falling On Cedars was written by David Guterson. The book was published in 1994 by Vintage. More information on the book is available on Amazon.com.

 

Read More About This Book

This is the kind of book where you can smell and hear and see the fictional world the writer has created, so palpably does the atmosphere come through. Set on an island in the straits north of Puget Sound, in Washington, where everyone is either a fisherm... Read More
This is the kind of book where you can smell and hear and see the fictional world the writer has created, so palpably does the atmosphere come through. Set on an island in the straits north of Puget Sound, in Washington, where everyone is either a fisherman or a berry farmer, the story is nominally about a murder trial. But since it's set in the 1950s, lingering memories of World War II, internment camps and racism helps fuel suspicion of a Japanese-American fisherman, a lifelong resident of the islands. It's a great story, but the primary pleasure of the book is Guterson's renderings of the people and the place.

Movie details for Snow Falling On Cedars

The movie was released in 1999 and directed by Scott Hicks, who also directed Hearts in Atlantis (2001). Snow Falling On Cedars was produced by Universal Studios. More information on the movie is available on Amazon.com.

Actors on this movie include Ethan Hawke, Youki Kudoh, Reeve Carney, Anne Suzuki, Rick Yune, Max von Sydow, James Rebhorn, James Cromwell, Richard Jenkins, Arija Bareikis, Eric Thal, Celia Weston, Daniel von Bargen, Akira Takayama, Ako (II), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Zak Orth, Max Wright, Sam Shepard and Caroline Kava.

 

Read More About This Movie

Australian director Scott Hicks's follow-up to his widely beloved Shine comes as a small shock. Based on David Guterson's bestselling novel, Snow Falling on Cedars is far removed from the character-driven, pure storytelling of Shine and a comparative pl... Read More
Australian director Scott Hicks's follow-up to his widely beloved Shine comes as a small shock. Based on David Guterson's bestselling novel, Snow Falling on Cedars is far removed from the character-driven, pure storytelling of Shine and a comparative plunge into moody atmospherics. Action insinuates itself through the director's determined eye for watercolor composition and free-floating perspective, like random shoots of new growth in an overwhelming rain forest. It's impossible to be complacent as a viewer because Hicks's meditative style paradoxically forces one to locate and make the story happen internally.

The approach makes good aesthetic sense in that Guterson's story couches courtroom drama in dreamy textures, and Hicks is determined to reflect that even if it means turning an audience's idea of narrative on its head. He also gets a lot of help from the weather in the Pacific Northwest: the setting is one of Washington State's San Juan Islands, where rain embraces earth and sky in a singular, introverted personality. There, a Japanese American war hero (Rick Yune) stands accused of murdering a white fisherman in the years following World War II. His wife (Youki Kudoh) is the former childhood sweetheart and lover of a local newspaperman (Ethan Hawke) whose bitterness over the loss--as well as his helplessness during the internment of Japanese Americans, and the crusading legacy of his journalist father (Sam Shepard)--prevents him from coming to the defense of the accused man.

Layered emotions, layered sensations, layered clouds. This is historical fiction of a sort that works best as an experience of time's relativity: flowing, stopping, trickling. Ironically, the film's most commercial element, the trial, is the least interesting aspect, though old pro Max Von Sydow makes those scenes great fun as a wily defense counsel. --Tom Keogh