Kawabata's sensual, ephemeral novel is magnificently visualised in this breath taking and moving adaptation by Shiro Toyoda with its two leads Keiko Kishi & Ryo Ikebe in passionate performances and a fairy-tale snowy alpine location visited by trains where the sad drama of unrequited love plays out to its dramatic and unresolved conclusion. A major Japanese film that should be restored for all to see and love.
This Toyoda falls within the best Kawabata adaptations. The novel ranks among the author's masterworks and improve it, or simply do justice to it, is a bloody difficult task. Indeed, the last minutes could've been better shot (Toyoda wasn't a master) and the movie itself lacks a real dramatical sense. Anyhow, dialogues and mise-en-scene flow harmoniously; you can almost touch characters' inner feelings. Thumbs up!