Snow Falling on Cedars

There is a moment in Snow Falling on Cedars in which the audience sees through a window a couple making love. The image is at first intriguing, but as the camera lingers, the scene feels like a cheat because there is no emotional connection to the vague figures behind the glass. The film as a whole suffers the same problem. The story follows a Japanese American (Rick Yune) on trial for killing a white fisherman on an island in Puget Sound during the aftermath of World War II. A bitter reporter (flatly played by Ethan Hawke) discovers information that might free him, but the news hound is more preoccupied with an affair he once had with the man’s wife (Youki Kudoh). Despite the potent themes (racial tensions and forbidden love) and gorgeous photography, Snow Falling on Cedars feels stiff and lifeless. (PG-13) Rating: 4

Categories: Movies