Since I am sitting here in my Zhivago hat, and there is nary a
snowflake in sight, I am forced to take matters into my own hands
and create my own wintry atmosphere. So, turning to the winter
section of my little film library, I pulled out the magnificent
adaptation of David Guterson's acclaimed book, Snow Falling on
Australian director Scott Hicks works some fabulous artistic magic
with lots of dreamy compositions and textures. This film is a feast for
the senses. Set in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, it's the story of a
young fisherman who was found dead in his own nets. A Japanese
American war hero is accused of his murder. His wife is the former
childhood sweetheart of a young newspaperman, played by Ethan
Hawke. The legendary Max von Sydow, one of my personal favorites,
is of course, wonderful as the aging defense attorney, and gives a
brilliant soliloquy in the trial scene.
This film is not only a murder mystery and tender love story, but it
addresses the persecution of the Japanese Americans and
immigrants during World War II. This seething bigotry serves as the
psychological backdrop for the post-war trial.
I absolutely love this elegant, intelligent, snowy movie. It's a woolly
sockser, with plenty of gorgeous snow. It's the next best thing to the
real stuff. So, snuggle up with the woollies, some hot chocolate, and
enjoy. I might just have to pop in Doctor Zhivago tonight.