By Scott Brown
Updated June 02, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

Director Scott Hicks (Shine) reduces David Guterson’s visceral, meditative novel Snow Falling on Cedars to a courtroom homily about Japanese-American relations in Puget Sound circa 1950, flinging in dizzy intercuts that bring to mind an out-of-focus music video. As a lovelorn reporter, Hamlet du jour Hawke tries once again to corner the market on melancholy, but with the camera trained obsessively on his forehead for most of the movie, a solid performance is simply not to be. B-