Joy H.'s Reviews > Snow Falling on Cedars

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
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's review
Mar 06, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: read-a-while-ago, watched-film-too, adapted-to-film

RE: _Snow Falling on Cedars_ (1994) by David Guterson
The story centers around a court case in which a Japanese man is charged with the murder of a man who was found drowned off the side of his fishing boat. The story takes place in the state of Washington, USA.

3/14/11 - I streamed the film (made in 1999) based on this book and didn't remember a thing about the book because I had read it so long ago. The story was a good one but I didn't care for the way it was presented. In some scenes I had no idea what was happening, especially when the camera panned in too close and you couldn't see the whole picture. There were a lot of quick scene changes with things jumping round too quickly. I found it confusing. However, the critics gave it favorable reviews. See excerpts from their reviews below (underlining is mine):
Excerpts from Roger Ebert's review:
"The story unfolds in flashbacks, overlapping dialogue, half-understood events, flashes of memory, all seen in a variety of visual styles. ... [The director] sees his stories as a whole, circling to their centers instead of starting at the beginning and trekking through."

Excerpts from James Berardinelli's review:
"... the director employs a non-linear, multi-layered structure that is characterized by flashbacks and flashbacks-within-flashbacks ... Hicks also goes overboard in the sound mixing department*, often utilizing a sort of echo-effect where lines of dialogue overlap as they are repeated several times in a row. ... Visually, the film is nothing short of stunning. The outdoor snowscape scenes are examples of cold, breathtaking beauty. ... [The director's] use of fog towards the beginning is impressive in the way it generates a sense of ominous uncertainty."

*Another thing I didn't like about the movie was the overly haunting chorus singing in the background in several places. I found it annoying. As Berardinelli says, it went "overboard" (no pun intended). :)

The acting was excellent. I enjoyed the characters and actors.

Below is the IMDb link to the movie showing the cast of characters, etc.:
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Nina (new)

Nina I like your review, Joy. I thought the beginning was confusing but I too thought the acting was excellent; believable.My friend who lived on the island as a young child said she felt she was in Paradise.

Joy H. All islands are Paradise to me, Nina.

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